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Vanitas Vanitatum

John Webster 1580 (London) – 1632 (London)

All the flowers of the spring
Meet to perfume our burying;
These have but their growing prime,
And man does flourish but his time:
Survey our progress from our birth;
We are set, we grow, we turn to earth.
Courts adieu, and all delights,
All bewitching appetites!
Sweetest breath and clearest eye,
Like perfumes, go out and die;
And consequently this is done
As shadows wait upon the sun.
Vain ambition of kings
Who seek by trophies and dead things
To leave a living name behind,
And weave but nets to catch the wind.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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John Webster

John Webster was an English Jacobean dramatist best known for his tragedies The White Devil and The Duchess of Malfi, which are often regarded as masterpieces of the early 17th-century English stage. His life and career overlapped William Shakespeare's. more…

All John Webster poems | John Webster Books

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    "Vanitas Vanitatum" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 13 Jun 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/24150/vanitas-vanitatum>.

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