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Poem by William Davenant


Life and Death


Frail Life! in which, through mists of human breath
We grope for truth, and make our progress slow,
Because by passion blinded; till by death
Our passions ending, we begin to know.

O reverend Death! whose looks can soon advise
E'en scornful youth, which priests their doctrine waste;
Yet mock us too; for he does make us wise,
When by his coming our affairs are past.

O harmless Death! whom still the valiant brave,
The wise expect, the sorrowful invite,
And all the good embrace, who know the grave
A shut dark passage to eternal light.



William Davenant


William Davenant's other poems:
  1. The Christians Reply to the Phylosopher
  2. For the Lady Olivia Porter; a Present upon a New-years Day
  3. Praise and Prayer
  4. Weep No More for What Is Past
  5. The Coquet


Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Duncan Scott Life and Death ("I THOUGHT of death beside the lonely sea")
  • Ella Wilcox Life and Death ("Three days agone, and she was here") 1872

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