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Poem by Francis Bacon


THE world's a bubble, and the life of man
      Less than a span:	
In his conception wretched, from the womb
      So to the tomb;
Curst from his cradle, and brought up to years
      With cares and fears.
Who then to frail mortality shall trust
But limns on water, or but writes in dust.
Yet whilst with sorrow here we live opprest,
      What life is best?
Courts are but only superficial schools
      To dandle fools;
The rural parts are turn'd into a den
      Of savage men;
And where's a city from foul vice so free,
But may be term'd the worst of all the three?
Domestic cares afflict the husband's bed,
      Or pains his head;
Those that live single take it for a curse,
      Or do things worse;
Some would have children; those that have them moan
      Or wish them gone:
What is it, then, to have, or have no wife,
But single thraldom, or a double strife?
Our own affections still at home to please
      Is a disease;
To cross the seas to any foreign soil,
      Peril and toil;
Wars with their noise affright us; when they cease,
      We are worse in peace:
What then remains, but that we still should cry
For being born, or, being born, to die?

Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon's other poems:
  1. The Translation of the CXXVIth Psalme
  2. The Translation of the First Psalme
  3. The Translation of the XIIth Psalm
  4. The Translation of the XCth Psalm

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Samuel Coleridge Life ("As late I journey'd o'er the extensive plain")
  • Charlotte Bront Life ("LIFE, believe, is not a dream")
  • Abraham Cowley Life ("Life's a name")
  • Anna Barbauld Life ("Life! I Know Not What Thou Art")
  • Bryan Procter Life ("WE are born; we laugh; we weep")
  • Florence Coates Life ("Before we knew thee thou wert with us; ay")
  • Paul Dunbar Life ("A crust of bread and a corner to sleep in")
  • James Johnson Life ("Out of the infinite sea of eternity")
  • Henry Van Dyke Life ("LET me but live my life from year to year")
  • Jones Very Life ("IT is not life upon Thy gifts to live")
  • Edith Wharton Life ("LIFE, like a marble block, is given to all")
  • Mary Robinson Life ("What is this world?thy school, O misery!")

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