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Seventeenth Century

Eighteenth Century



Earl of Rochester

Jan Lievens. Vanitas: Old Man with a Skull, c1640.

The latter End of the

C H O R U S  of the Second Act


Seneca's Troas, Translated.

After Death nothing is, and nothing Death;
The utmost Limits of a Gasp of Breath.
Let the ambitious Zealot lay aside
His Hope of Heav'n; (whose Faith is but his Pride)
Let slavish Souls lay by their Fear,
Nor be concern'd which way, or where,
After this Life they shall be hurl'd:
Dead, we become the Lumber of the World;
And to that Mass of Matter shall be swept,
Where things destroy'd with things unborn are kept;
Devouring Time swallows us whole,
Impartial Death confounds Body and Soul.
For Hell, and the foul Fiend that rules
     The everlasting fiery Goals,
Devis'd by Rogues, dreaded by Fools,
With his grim griesly Dog that keeps the Door,
     Are senseless Stories, idle Tales,
Dreams, whimsies, and no more.

Goals, gaols; jails.

Rochester, John Wilmot, Earl of. The Works of John Earl of Rochester.
London: Jacob Tonson, 1714. 79.


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Restoration & 18th-century:

Samuel Butler
John Dryden
Samuel Pepys
John Bunyan
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Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea
Mary Astell
William Congreve
Matthew Prior
Daniel Defoe
John Gay
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
Jonathan Swift
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Sir Richard Steele
James Thomson
Alexander Pope
Dr. Samuel Johnson
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George Crabbe
William Cowper
James Boswell
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