Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, NOSCE TEIPSUM: WHICH IS A PROUD, AND YET A WRETCHED THING, by JOHN DAVIES (1569-1626)



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NOSCE TEIPSUM: WHICH IS A PROUD, AND YET A WRETCHED THING, by            
First Line: I know my body's of so frail a kind
Last Line: Which is a proud, and yet a wretched thing.
Variant Title(s): A Proud And Yet A Wretched Thing
Subject(s): Bodies; Self


I KNOW my body's of so frail a kind,
As force without, fevers within can kill;
I know the heavenly nature of my mind,
But 'tis corrupted both in wit and will:

I know my Soul hath power to know all things,
Yet is she blind and ignorant in all;
I know I am one of Nature's little kings,
Yet to the least and vilest things am thrall.

I know my life's a pain and but a span,
I know my sense is mock'd with every thing:
And to conclude, I know myself a man,
Which is a proud, and yet a wretched thing.





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