Friday, 24 April 2009


Last night the scraper and I went to a meeting of the poetry group. The subject was greed/gluttony; not a very poetic subject.

One of the poems I took with me to read is by the Renaissance poet, George Wither, who lived
from 1588-1667. He wrote it in 1635, 374 years ago and he might as well have written it yesterday:

When I behold the havoc and the spoil
Which, even within the compass of my days,
Is made through every quarter of this isle,
In woods and groves, which were this kingdom's praise,
And when I mind with how much greediness
We seek the present gain in everything,
Not caring (so our lust we may possess)
What damage to posterity we bring...
What our forefathers planted, we destroy;
Nay, all men's labours, living heretofore,
And all our own, we lavishly employ
To serve our present lusts, and for no more.

There is a powerful message in this poem, one we still haven't understood and probably never will.


  1. Hi Friko,

    this is wonderful, timeless wisdom, still relevant!

  2. Thanks for the visit!
    When I read your posts about life in a German village at the end of the war it seems very familiar, as we once lived in a village near Julich, close to the Dutch border.
    I'll be back!

  3. Nothing much has changed in 374 years then ...

    I enjoyed looking around your blog.


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