: the space between
‘Sir Walter Ralegh; Walter Ralegh’ (c. 1554 — 29 October 1618)
by Unknown Artist
oil on canvas, 1602
78 1/2 in. x 50 1/8 in. (1994 mm x 1273 mm)
National Portrait Gallery, London
Orlando Gibbons, c.1583 – d.1625
Text author: Sir Walter Ralegh
‘What is our life?’, 1612
From The First Set of Madrigals and Mottets of 5 Parts: apt for Viols and Voyces.
Performed by The Consort of Musicke
WHAT is our life? The play of passion.
Our mirth? The music of division:
Our mothers’ wombs the tiring-houses be,
Where we are dressed for life’s short comedy.
The earth the stage; Heaven the spectator is,
Who sits and views whosoe’er doth act amiss.
The graves which hide us from the scorching sun
Are like drawn curtains when the play is done.
Thus playing post we to our latest rest,
And then we die in earnest, not in jest.