Friday, November 02, 2012


Post Mortem

William Lathum, "Post mortem nescio cujus," in his Phyala Lachrymarum...Together with sundry choyce Meditations of Mortalitie (London: Printed by R.Y. for George Lathum, 1634), p. 38:
Why doe the mightie beare themselves so high,
And vant their parentage and long discent?
Why do the rich so swell with surquedry
Of their huge wealth, which is but to them lent,
But till their lives uncertaine terme be spent?      5
Though where's the odds, or what's the difference
Between the wealthy and the indigent,
When both unto the grave once part from hence?
Within a while their dust so mingled is,
That none can safely say, this was his, or his:      10
  So have I seene the boistrous-body'd oake,
That above all, her wide-spred armes enhanc't,
I saw it lopt with many a sturdie stroke,
From side to side I saw it thorow lanc't,
I saw it fall and headlong disadvanc't:      15
The silly shrub that there beside was growne,
I likewise saw quite rooted up and rancht;
I saw them both into the fire throwne;
I saw them wasted, and in ashes lye,
But whethers ashes were by no meanes could discry.      20
3 surquedry = "arrogance, haughty pride, presumption" (OED)
17 rancht = cut (OED, s.v. ranch, v.1: "To tear, cut, or scratch, esp. deeply")
20 whethers = which of the two's

On this obscure poet see L. Birkett Marshall, "William Lathum, a Seventeenth-Century Poet," Review of English Studies, Vol. 8, No. 29 (Jan. 1932) 37-43.

On dead men compared with felled trees see:


<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?