POETRY IS LIKE TAKING A DEEP BREATH

Monday, 12 September 2011

ELEGY FOR HIMSELF

Tower of London - Traitor's Gate
(Wikipedia)



Written in the Tower of London Before his Execution





My prime of youth is but a frost of cares,
My feast of joy is but a dish of pain,
My crop of corn is but a field of tares,
And all my good is but vain hope of gain;
The day is past, and yet I saw no sun,
And now I live, and now my life is done.

My tale was heard and yet it was not told,
My fruit is fallen and yet my leaves are green,
My youth is spent and yet I am not old,
I saw the world and yet I was not seen;
My thread is cut and yet it is not spun,
And now I live, and now my life is done.

I sought my death and found it in my womb,
I looked for life and saw it was a shade,
I trod the earth and knew it was my tomb,
And now I die, and now I was but made:
My glass is full, and now my glass is run,
And now I live, and now my life is done. 


Chidiock Tichborne
1558 - 1586



In spite of this very moving elegy, Tichborne was not primarily a poet.
He was a conspirator in the Babington Plot, six men who were pledged to kill Queen Elizabeth
and restore the Kingdom to the Church of Rome.


5 comments:

  1. I feel like Anne Sexton could have written this.
    ~Mary

    ReplyDelete
  2. Another beauty, and I enjoyed immensely learning of the historical context.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Solitude and impending death can wring out the most beautiful phrases.

    ReplyDelete
  4. beautifully written... i especially like this line -

    My youth is spent and yet I am not old...

    very much of my age..

    Love it..

    JJRod'z

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for your comment. I love to receive comments from other poetry lovers.

This blog is pure self-indulgence; I love poetry and am grateful that Blogger has given me this vehicle to indulge myself.

Only via my main blog 'Friko's World' do I visit, comment on, and follow other blogs.

Thank you for understanding.