William Crotch
(1775 - 1847)

Like as the damask rose, you see
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A setting of Wastell's "Of Man's Mortalitie". The text is sometimes attributed to Francis Quarles.
Lyrics: Simon Wastell

Like as the damask rose you see,
Or like the blossom on the tree,
Or like the dainty flow'r of May,
Or like the sun, or like the shade,
Or like the gourd, which Jonas had.
E'en such is man whose thread is spun,
Drawn out and cut and so is done.
The rose withers, the blossom blasteth,
The flow'r fades, the morning hasteth,
The sun sets, the shadow flies,
The gourd consumes, and man he dies.

Like to the grass that's newly sprung,
Or like a tale that's new begun;
Or like the bird that's here today,
Or like the pearled dew of May,
Or like an hour, or like a span,
Or like the singing of the swan.
E'en such is man who lives by breath,
Is here, now there, in life and death:
The grass withers, the tale is ended,
The bird is flown, the dew's ascended,
The hour is short, the span is long,
The swan's near death; man's life is gone.