Théodore van Thulden, Gathering of Musicians, c1650.
Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris.
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.
Excerpt from the album Shakespeare and his Stage:
For the direct .MP3 file, click here.
The Anchor Anthology of Sixteenth-Century Verse.
Richard S. Sylvester, Ed.
Garden City: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1974. 549.
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