Elegy for Himself by Chidiock Tichborne (1558-1586)


written in the tower before his execution

Chidiock wrote this the night before he was executed for treason as a Roman Catholic, to write so eloquently under such circumstances amazes me. He was 28 years old.

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 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 fall’n, 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

via The Boipoet

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About Jez Farmer

I am a freelance writer and poet and started writing after raising my two boys as a way of discovering just who Jez is. That is still very much an on-going project but the journey so far has introduced me to many wonderful friends and fellow writers through an ever growing love of poetry.
This entry was posted in 16th Century Poets, Poetry, Quondom Poetics, Selected Poetry and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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