The School Bag




‘Adieu! farewell earth’s bliss!’

Thomas Nashe  

Adieu, farewell, earth’s bliss!
This world uncertain is:
Fond are life’s lustful joys,
Death proves them all but toys,
None from his darts can fly:
I am sick, I must die —
   Lord, have mercy on us.

Rich men, trust not in wealth,
Gold cannot buy you health;
Physic himself must fade;
All things to end are made;
The plague full swift goes by:
I am sick, I must die —
   Lord, have mercy on us.

Beauty is but a flower
Which wrinkles will devour:
Brightness falls from the air;
Queens have died young and fair
Dust hath closed Helen’s eye:
I am sick, I must die —
   Lord, have mercy on us.

Strength stoops unto the grave,
Worms feed on Hector brave;
Sword may not fight with fate;
Earth still holds ope her gate;
“Come, come!” the bells do cry:
I am sick, I must die —
   Lord, have mercy on us.

Wit with his wantonness,
Tasteth death’s bitterness;
Hell’s executioner
Hath no ears for to hear
What vain art can reply.
I am sick, I must die —
   Lord, have mercy on us.

Haste, therefore, each degree
To welcome destiny!
Heaven is our heritage;
Earth but a player’s stage.
Mount we unto the sky!
I am sick, I must die —
   Lord, have mercy on us.

c.1592