Grass of levity,

Span in brevity,

flowers’ felicity,

fire of misery

Wind’s stability

Is mortality.

Inscription in St Mary Magdalene Church, Milk Street, London, c. 1609.

Man is a glas; life is

A water that’s weakly

walled about; sinne bring

es death; death breakes

the glas; so runnes

the water out


Inscription in Osmington Church, Dorset, c. 1609.

This wretched life, the trust and confidence

of whose continuance maketh us bold to sin

Thou perceivest well by experience

Since that hour in which it did begin

It holdeth course and shall not lin

But fast in runneth on and passen shall

As doth a dream, or shadow on the wall.

Thomas More.


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