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On a Diseased Old Man, who Wept at thought of leaving the World.

1 Shame on thy Beard! That thou canst Bug-bears dread!
2 Fear Death whom thou so oft hast seen,
3 So oft his Guest at Funerals been;
4 Thy self 'ith' Better Half already Dead!
5 'Tis strange to see that Frozen Head
6 Such Plenteous Moysture shed;
7 Whence can this Stream be fed?
8 The Tears were just, which at thy Birth did flow,
9 For then Alass! thou had'st t'engage
10 Life's Inconveniences, but now
11 Thou art allow'd to quit the Tragick Stage,
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12 Now to be careful to prolong the Scene,
13 And Act thy Miseries o're agen,
14 Is Folly not to be forgiv'n in ev'n thy Doating Age.
15 Full Fourscore Years (Bless us! a dreadful Space)
16 The World has us'd Thee ill,
17 Abus'd Thee to Thy Face;
18 And Doatard canst Thou still
19 Sollicite her Embrace?
20 In vain Thou covet'st to enjoy
21 This haughty Dame, when Age and Pains
22 Have shrunk thy Nerves, and chill'd thy Veins,
23 Who to thy Flourishing Years, was so Reserv'd and Coy.
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24 Can Cramps, Catharrs, and Palsies be
25 Such ravishing Company,
26 That thou shou'd'st mourn the Loss of their Society?
27 What Pleasures can the Grave deprive
28 Thy Senses of? What Inconvenience give,
29 Which Thou'rt exempted from Alive?
30 At worst thou canst but have
31 Cold Lodging in the Grave;
32 Nor ly'st thou Warmer now tho cover'd o're
33 In Furr, till thy faint Limbs can bear no more:
34 Thou sleep'st each Night in so much Sear-cloth bound,
35 Thou'dst need no more wert thou to take thy Lodging Under-ground.
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36 Go; lay thy friv'lous Hopes of Health aside;
37 No longer Potions take,
38 No more Incisions make,
39 Let thy dull Flesh no more be Scarify'd:
40 Resign, resign thy Fated Breath,
41 Consult with no Physitian more, but Death:
42 When all thy Surgeons Instruments prove vain,
43 His never-failing Dart
44 Will Bleed thee gently at thy Heart,
45 And let out Life, the Sourse of all thy Pain:
46 Let then thy Funeral Pile be made,
47 With Rosemary and Cypress grac't,
48 Aloft on it thy Carcass plac't;
49 Beside thee there thy Crutches laid:
50 Those Utensills will thus oblige thee more,
51 Fomenting the kind Flame, then when they bore
52 Thy Crazy and Decrepit Limbs before!


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): On a Diseased Old Man, who Wept at thought of leaving the World.
Author: Nahum Tate
Genres: occasional poem

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Source edition

Tate, Nahum, c. 1652-1715. Poems by N. Tate. London: Printed by T.M. for Benj. Tooke ..., 1677, pp. 4-7. [15],133p. (Page images digitized from a copy in the Bodleian Library [Harding C 2953].)

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Typography, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been cautiously modernized. The source of the text is given and all significant editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. This ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.

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