The Shortness Of Life
And what's a life? A weary pilgrimage,
Whose glory in one day doth fill the stage
With childhood, manhood, and decrepit age.
And what's a life? The flourishing array
Of the proud summer-meadow, which to-day
Wears her green plush, and is to-morrow hay.
Read on this dial, how the shades devour
My short-lived winter's day! hour eats up the hour;
Alas! the total's but from eight to four.
Behold these lilies, which Thy hands have made
Fair copies of my life, and open laid
To view, how soon they droop, how soon they fade!
Shade not that dial, night will blind too soon;
My nonaged day already points to noon;
How simple is my suit! how small my boon!
Nor do I beg this slender inch to wile
The time away, or falsely to beguile
My thoughts with joy: here's nothing worth a smile.
Francis Quarles's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (The Shortness Of Life by Francis Quarles )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
William Butler Yeats
(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
(14 December 1895 – 18 November 1952)
(23 June 1889 – 5 March 1966)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- Christmas Trees, Robert Frost
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
Poem of the Day
- Lay Down With Me, Michael P. McParland
- University, Birat Anupam
- Later Tonight, Michael P. McParland
- It's Your Fault, Hank, Kim Barney
- No Dime, olaitan mahmud
- KP You Are Divine To Me, Michael P. McParland
- The Uglier Brother, Kim Barney
- KP I Need You, Michael P. McParland
- Christmas Day Wish, Tirupathi Chandrupatla
- Know My Love, Michael P. McParland