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Poem by Francis Quarles

On Time

Time's an hand's-breadth; 'tis a tale;
'Tis a vessel under sail;
'Tis an eagle in its way,
Darting down upon its prey;
'Tis an arrow in its flight,
Mocking the pursuing sight;
'Tis a short-lived fading flower;
'Tis a rainbow on a shower;
'Tis a momentary ray,
Smiling in a winter's day;
'Tis a torrent's rapid stream;
'Tis a shadow; 'tis a dream;
'Tis the closing watch of night,
Dying at the rising light;
'Tis a bubble; 'tis a sigh;
Be prepared, O! man, to die.

Francis Quarles

Francis Quarles's other poems:
  1. On the Life and Death of Man
  2. On Change of Weather
  3. Delight In God Only
  4. The Loadstone
  5. Hos Ego Versiculos

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • John Milton On Time ("Fly, envious Time, till thou run out thy race")
  • Jonathan Swift On Time ("Ever eating, never cloying")
  • Joanna Baillie On Time ("TIME sooth, since Time has been, has still sustain'd")
  • John Skelton On Time ("YE may hear now, in this rime")

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