Excerpt from

The Duchess of Malfi

By John Webster

[Hearke, now every thing is still]

HEARKE, now every thing is still—
The Screech-Owle, and the whistler shrill,
Call upon our Dame, aloud,
And bid her quickly don her shrowd :
Much you had of Land and rent,
Your length in clay's now competent.
A long war disturb'd your minde,
Here your perfect peace is sign'd—
Of what is 't fooles make such vaine keeping ?
Sin their conception, their birth, weeping :
Their life, a generall mist of error,
Their death, a hideous storme of terror—
Strew your haire, with powders sweete :
Don clean linnen, bathe your feete,
And (the foule fiend more to checke)
A crucifixe let blesse your necke,
'Tis now full tide, 'tweene night, and day,
End your groane, and come away.

The Oxford Book of Seventeenth Century Verse.
H. J. C. Grierson and G. Bullough, eds.
Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1934. 204.


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