A Poem A Day – Richard Corbet


Like to the thund’ring tone of unspoke speeches,
Or like a lobster clad in logic breeches,
Or like the gray freeze of a crimson cat,
Or like a moon-calf in a slipshoe hat,
Or like a shadow when the sun is gone,
Or like a thought that ne’er was thought upon,
Even such is man, who never was begotten
Until his children were both death and rotten.

Like to a fiery touchstone of a cabbage,
Or like a crablouse with his bag and baggage,
Or like th’abortive issue of a fizzle,
Or like the bag-pudding of a plowman’s whistle,
Or like the four-square circle of a ring,
Or like the singing of hey down a ding,
Even such is man, who, breathless without doubt,
Spake to small purpose when his tongue was out.

Like to the green fresh fading withered rose,
Or like to rhyme or verse that runs in prose,
Or like the mumbles of a tinder-box,
Or like a man that’s sound, yet hath the pox,
Or like a hobnail coin’d in single pence,
Or like the present preter-perfect tense,
Even such is man, who died and then did laugh
To see such strange lines writ on’s epitaph.

Richard Corbet (1641)

Quelle: Englische Barocklyrik, hrsg. von Hermann Fischer, Stuttgart 1971
Ausgesucht von Christian Filips


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