by Thomas Flatman (1637 - 1688)

The Whim
Language: English 
Why so serious, why so grave?
Man of business, why so muddy?
Thy self from chance thou canst not save
With all thy care and study.
Look merrily then, and take thy repose;
For 'tis to no purpose to look so forlorn,
Since the World was as bad, before thou wer't born,
And when it will mend who knows?
And a thousand years hence 'tis all one,
If thou lay'st on a Dunghil, or sat'st on a Throne,

To be troubled to be sad,
Carking Mortal 'tis a folly,
For a pound of pleasure's not so bad
As an ounce of Melancholly:
Since all our lives long we travel towards Death
Let us rest us sometimes, and bait by the way;
'Tis but dying at last; in our race let us stay,
And we shan't be so soon out of breath.
Sit the Comedy out, and that done,
When the Play's at an end, let the Curtain fall down.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):

Researcher for this text: Malcolm Wren [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2021-04-16
Line count: 20
Word count: 159