What if a Day,
Or a Month,
Or a Yeare?

by Thomas Campion

from Richard Alison's
An Howres Recreation in Musicke (1606)

What if a day, or a month, or a yeare
Crown thy delights with a thousand sweet contentings?
Cannot a chance of a night or an howre
Crosse thy desires with as many sad tormentings?
          Fortune, honor, beauty, youth
          Are but blossoms dying;
          Wanton pleasure, doating love,
          Are but shadowes flying.
          All our joyes are but toyes,
          Idle thoughts deceiving;
          None have power of an howre
          In their lives bereaving.

Earthes but a point to the world, and a man
Is but a point to the worlds compared centure:
Shall then a point of a point be so vaine
As to triumph in a seely points adventure?
          All is hassard that we have,
          There is nothing biding;
          Dayes of pleasure are like streames
          Through faire meadowes gliding.
          Weale and woe, time doth goe,
          Time is ever turning:
          Secret fates guide our states,
          Both in mirth and mourning.

What if a Day
by Thomas Campion -
Sequenced by John Cowles

Text Source:
The Anchor Anthology of Sixteenth-Century Verse.
Richard S. Sylvester, Ed.
Garden City: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1974. 549.

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Created by Anniina Jokinen on November 21, 1996. Last updated on July 26, 2007.