Bid to Think on Fame

Rather than flighty Fame give me
A bird on wrist or puss on knee.
Death is not to be charm'd by rhymes
Nor shov'd away to after-times.
Of maiden's or of poet's song
Did anything on earth sound long?
Why then should ever mortal care
About what floats in empty air?
All we devise and all we know
Is better kept for use than show.
Perhaps we deem ourselves the wise,
Other may see with clearer eyes.
Little I care for Fame or Death,
Or groan for one gasp more of breath.
Death, in approaching me looks grim,
I in return but smile at him.
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