Nature’s Officers

Eternity, as usher, goes1 before.
And Destiny, as porter, keeps the door
Of the great world, who lets Life out and in.
The Fates, her maids, this2 thread of Life do spin.
Mutability orders with great3 care.                                         5
Motion, her footboy, runneth everywhere.
Time, as her page, doth carry up her train,
But in his service he doth little4 gain.
The Days are the surveyors, which do5 view
All Nature’s works, which6 are both old and new.               10
The Seasons four by turns their circuits7 take,
Like judges sit, and distributions8 make;
The Months, their9 pen-clerks, write down everything,
Make deeds of gifts, and bonds of all that spring.
Life’s office is to pay and give out all                                      15
To her receiver, Death, when he doth10 call.

  1. goes] goeth 1653
  2. this] the 1664, 1668
  3. Mutability orders with great] Change Orders all with Industry and 1664; Change Orders all, with Industry and 1668
  4. he doth little] little doth he 1653
  5. which do] for to 1653
  6. which] that 1664, 1668
  7. by turns their circuits] their Circuites by turnes 1653
  8. Like judges sit, and distributions] Judges to order, and distribute, 1653
  9. their] as 1664, 1668
  10. her receiver, Death, when he doth] Death, which is Receiver, when he 1653