Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Men, crying and poetry

I increasingly love poetry and the emotion that is stirred by it. I was touched to have been given Poems that make grown men cry and find the first poem in that book both sad and moving. It was written in 1585 by Chidiock Tichborne (I often feel my name is so boring) on the eve of his execution for being part of a plot to assassinate Elizabeth I and replace her with a Catholic monarch. It was written on the eve of his execution in the Tower and was sent with a letter to his wife Agnes. He was 28 years old.

As one commentator says, it reminds of us of the 'profound contradictions implicit  in the human condition'. Yep we are all a bunch of contradictions.


 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, 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 look 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.
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