Noble spectators, pray learn this1 by me,
That nothing without Honor, Time, can2 perfect be.
Honor doth dress the mind with virtuous weeds,
And is the parent to all noble deeds.
Time doth the body dress with youth and age, 5
And is great Nature’s chambermaid and page.
If in Time’s cabinet3 great spoils you find,
The fault is ignorance, stupid and4 blind,
Which careless is, and tumbles5 all about,
Misplacing all, taking the6 wrong things out. 10
But Time’s a housewife good, and takes much pain
To order all as Nature did ordain.
On several heaps she several ages7 lays,
And what she takes from Life, to Death she pays.
But if disordered Life doth run in debt, 15
Then Death his sergeants doth diseases set,
Which causes Time8 to give a double pay,
’Cause Life is9 spent so much before rent day.
- Learn this] this learne 1653
- That nothing without Honor, Time, can] All Things by Time and Honour 1664; All things, by Time and Honour, 1668
- A marginal note in Cavendish’s text reads, “Time’s cabinet is opportunity.”
- stupid and] who’s Stupid, 1653
- Which careless is, and tumbles] And Careless, which doth Tumble 1664; And Careless, which doth tumble 1668
- taking the] and taking 1664, 1668
- On several heaps she several ages] All severall Ages on severall Heapes she 1653
- causes Time] Time do cause 1664; Time do cause 1668
- ’Cause Life is] Because Life 1653