The Vanity of the World

False world, thou ly’st: thou canst not lend The least delight: Thy favors cannot gain a friend, They are so slight: Thy morning pleasures make an end To please at night: Poor are the wants that thou supply’st, And yet thou vaunt’st, and yet thou vy’st With heaven: fond earth, thou boasts; false world, thou ly’st. Thy babbling tongue tells golden tales Of endless treasure; Thy bounty offers easy sales Of lasting pleasure; Thou ask’st the conscience what she ails, And swear’st to ease her; There ’s none can want where thou supply’st; There ’s none can give where thou deny’st. Alas! fond world, thou boasts; false world, thou ly’st. What well-advisèd ear regards What earth can say? Thy words are gold, but thy regards Are painted clay: Thy cunning can but pack the cards, Thou canst not play: Thy game at weakest, still thou vy’st; If seen, and then revy’d, deny’st: Thou art not what thou seem’st; false world, thou ly’st. Thy tinsel bosom seems a mint Of new-coined treasure; A paradise, that has no stint, No change, no measure; A painted cask, but nothing in ’t, Nor wealth, nor pleasure: Vain earth! that falsely thus comply’st With man; vain man! that thou rely’st On earth; vain man, thou dot’st; vain earth, thou ly’st. What mean dull souls, in this high measure, To haberdash In earth’s base wares, whose greatest treasure Is dross and trash? The height of whose enchanting pleasure Is but a flash? Are these the goods that thou supply’st Us mortals with? Are these the high’st? Can these bring cordial peace? false world, thou ly’st.

1612
Sub Title: 
III. Adversity

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False world, thou ly’st: thou canst not lend The least delight: Thy favors cannot gain a friend, They are so slight: Thy morning pleasures make an end To please at night: Poor are the wants that thou supply’st, And yet thou vaunt’st, and yet thou vy’st With heaven:...

E'en like two little bank-dividing brooks,
That wash the pebbles with their wanton streams,
And having ranged and search'd a thousand nooks,
Meet both at length in silver-breasted Thames,
Where in a greater current they conjoin:
So I my Best-beloved's am; so He is...