Richard Alison
(fl.1586 - 1606)

What if a day
(S.S.A.T.B.)
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Published in An Howres Recreation in Musicke, London, 1606.
Lyrics: Thomas Campion

What if a day, or a month, or a year
Crown thy desire with a thousand sweet contentings;
Cannot the chance of a night or an hour
Cross thy delight with as many sad tormentings?
Fortune, honour, beauty, youth,
Are but blossoms dying;
Wanton pleasures, doting love,
Are but shadows flying.
All our joys are but toys,
Idle thoughts deceiving.
None have pow'r of an hour
In their lives' bereaving.

Earth's but a point to the world; and a man
Is but a point to the earth's compared censure.
Shall then a point of a point be so vain
As to triumph in a silly point's adventure?
All is hazard that we have,
There is nothing biding;
Days of pleasure are like streams
Through fair meadows gliding.
Weal and woe, time doth go,
Time is never turning.
Secret fates guide our states
Both in mirth and mourning.