The first life, in the mother’s womb is spent,
Where she her nursing power doth only use;
Where, when she finds defect of nourishment,
She expels her body, and this world she views.
This we call Birth; but if the child could speak,
He Death would call it; and of Nature plain,
That she would thrust him out naked and weak,
And in his passage pinch him with such pain.
Yet, out he comes, and in this world is placed
Where all his Senses in perfection bee:
Where he finds flowers to smell, and fruits to taste;
And sounds to hear, and sundry forms to see.
When he hath past some time upon this stage,
His Reason then a little seems to wake;
Which, though the spring, when sense doth fade with age,
Yet can she here no perfect practise make.
Then doth th’aspiring Soul the body leave,
Which we call Death; but were it known to all,
What life our souls do by this death receive,
Men would it birth or gaol delivery call.
In this third life, Reason will be so bright,
As that her spark will like the sun-beams shine,
And shall of God enioy the real sight.
Being still increased by influence divine.
O ignorant poor man! what dost thou bear
Locked up within the casket of thy breast?
What jewels, and what riches hast thou there!
What heavenly treasure in so weak a chest!
Look in thy soul, and thou shalt beauties find,
Like those which drowned Narcissus in the flood:
Honour and Pleasure both are in thy mind,
And all that in the world is counted Good.
And when thou think’st of her eternity,
Think not that Death against her nature is;
Think it a birth: and when thou goest to die,
Sing like a swan, as if thou went’st to bliss.
Death As Birth by John Davies