Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

IN SICKNESS (1714), by             Poem Explanation         Poet's Biography
First Line: Tis true -- then why should I repine / to see my life so fast decline?
Last Line: When known, will save a double sorrow.
Subject(s): Death; Grief; Health; Sickness; Soul; Dead, The; Sorrow; Sadness; Illness

'TIS true—then why should I repine
To see my life so fast decline?
But why obscurely here alone,
Where I am neither loved nor known?
My state of health none care to learn;
My life is here no soul's concern.
And those with whom I now converse
Without a tear will tend my hearse;
Removed from kind Arbuthnot's aid,
Who knows his art but not his trade,
Preferring his regard for me
Before his credit or his fee.
Some formal visits, looks, and words,
What mere humanity affords,
I meet perhaps from three or four,
From whom I once expected more;
Which those who tend the sick for pay
Can act as decently as they.
But no obliging, tender friend
To help at my approaching end;
My life is now a burthen grown
To others, ere it be my own.
Ye formal weepers for the sick,
In your last offices be quick;
And spare my absent friends the grief
To hear, yet give me no relief;
Expired today, entombed tomorrow,
When known, will save a double sorrow.

Discover our Poem Explanations and Poet Analyses!

Other Poems of Interest...

Home: PoetryExplorer.net