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This poem is taken from PN Review 85, Volume 18 Number 5, May - June 1992.

(1570-1635) Three Sonnets Jean-Baptiste Chassignet


When old age enters we are well repaid
For the excesses of our youth: from one
Hearing, and from another strength, has gone:
The fittest stumble, by their eyes betrayed.

Our senses, each in turn, begin to fade,
Except the sense of desolation;
Disease grows stronger as the time goes on:
What a poor coffin-full the corpse has made!

There is no part of us inhuman Fate
Does not mark as its own before due date,
Knowing that we grow weaker all the way.

Enough, everything dies in us but vice
Which, subject to a greedy avarice,
Living on death, grows younger every day.


Make sure you stifle your concupiscence,

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