Death’s Endeavor to Hinder and Obstruct Nature

When Death did hear what Nature did intend,
To hinder her he all his force did bend.
But finding all his forces were too weak,
He always strives the thread of Life to break,
And strives1 to fill the mind with black despair,        5
Lets it not rest in peace, nor free from care.
And since he cannot make it die, he will
Send grief and sorrow to torment it still.
With grievous pains the body he displeases,
And binds it hard with chains of strong diseases.    10
His servants Sloth and Sleep he doth employ
To get half of the time before they die:
But Sleep, a friend to Life, oft disobeys
His master’s will, and softly down her lays
Upon her2 weary limbs, like birds in nest,                  15
And gently locks her3 senses up in rest.

  1. strives] seeks 1664, 1668
  2. her] their 1653
  3. her] their 1653