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HENRY HOWARD, EARL OF SURREY


Titian. Allegory of Time Governed by Prudence, 1565.
Titian. Allegory of Time Governed by Prudence, 1565.


HOW NO AGE IS CONTENT

WITH HIS OWN ESTATE, AND HOW THE AGE OF CHILDREN

IS THE HAPPIEST IF THEY HAD SKILL

TO UNDERSTAND IT.

sound recording
©2007 Anniina Jokinen


LAID in my quiet bed, in study as I were,
I saw within my troubled head a heap of thoughts appear.
And every thought did shew so lively in mine eyes,
That now I sigh'd, and then I smiled, as cause of thought did rise.
I saw the little boy in thought how oft that he
Did wish of God to scape the rod, a tall young man to be.
The young man eke that feels his bones with pains opprest,
How he would be a rich old man, to live and lie at rest.
The rich old man that sees his end draw on so sore,
How he would be a boy again, to live so much the more.
Whereat full oft I smiled, to see how all these three,
From boy to man, from man to boy, would chop and change degree.
And musing thus I think, the case is very strange,
That man from wealth, to live in woe, doth ever seek to change.
Thus thoughtful as I lay, I saw my wither'd skin,
How it doth shew my dented chews, the flesh was worn so thin.
And eke my toothless chaps, the gates of my right way,
That opes and shuts as I do speak, do thus unto me say :
' Thy white and hoarish airs, the messengers of age,
That shew, like lines of true belief, that this life doth assuage ;
Bid thee lay hand, and feel them hanging on thy chin ;
The which do write two ages past, the third now coming in.
Hang up therefore the bit of thy young wanton time :
And thou that therein beaten art, the happiest life define.'
Whereat I sigh'd and said : ' Farewell ! my wonted joy ;
Truss up thy pack, and trudge from me to every little boy ;
And tell them thus from me ; their time most happy is,
If, to their time, they reason had, to know the truth of this.'




Source:
Surrey, Henry Howard, Earl of.
The Poetical Works of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey.
Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1854. 65-66.




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Created by Anniina Jokinen on September 30, 2000. Last updated on August 27, 2009.




 



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Historical Events
Field of the Cloth of Gold, 1520
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Elizabethan Theatre
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English Renaissance Drama


Images of London:
London in the time of Henry VII. MS. Roy. 16 F. ii.
London, 1510, the earliest view in print
Map of England from Saxton's Descriptio Angliae, 1579
Location Map of Elizabethan London
Plan of the Bankside, Southwark, in Shakespeare's time
Detail of Norden's Map of the Bankside, 1593
Bull and Bear Baiting Rings from the Agas Map (1569-1590, pub. 1631)
Sketch of the Swan Theatre, c. 1596
Westminster in the Seventeenth Century, by Hollar
Visscher's Panoramic View of London, 1616. COLOR



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