John Blow (1649-1708)
What is't to us
Text by Anonymous
What is't to us who guides the state,
Who's out of favour, or who's great,
Who are the ministers and spies,
Who votes for places, or who buys?
The world will still be ruled by knaves
And fools, contending to be slaves.
Small things, my friend, serve to support;
Life's troublesome at best, and short.
Our youth runs back, occasion flies,
Grey hair comes on, and pleasure dies:
Who would the present blessing lose
For empire which he cannot use?
Kind Providence has us supplied
With what to others is denied:
Virtue, which teaches to condemn
And scorn ill actions, and ill men.
Beneath this lime tree's fragrant shade,
On beds of flowers supinely laid,
Let's then all other cares remove,
And drink and sing to those we love:
Here's to Neaera, heaven-designed
Perfection of the charming kind;
May she be blest as she is fair,
And pity me, as I love her.