The School Bag




Elegy for Himself

Chidiock Tichborne

Written in the Tower before his execution

My prime of youth is but a frost of cares;
     My feast of joy is but a dish of pain;
My Crop of corn is but a field of tares;
     And all my good is but vain hope of gain:
The day is past, and yet I saw no sun;
And now I live, and now my life is done.

My tale was heard, and yet it was not told;
     My fruit is fall’n, and yet my leaves are green;
My youth is spent, and yet I am not old;
     I saw the world, and yet I was not seen:
My thread is cut, and yet it is not spun;
And now I live, and now my life is done.

I sought my death, and found it in my womb;
     I looked for life, and saw it was a shade;
I trod the earth, and knew it was my tomb;
     And now I die, and now I was but made;
My glass is full, and now my glass is run;
And now I live, and now my life is done.   

1586