A Century of Roundels/Death and Birth

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Death and birth should dwell not near together:
Wealth keeps house not, even for shame, with dearth:
Fate doth ill to link in one brief tether
 Death and birth.

Harsh the yoke that binds them, strange the girth
Seems that girds them each with each: yet whether
Death be best, who knows, or life on earth?

Ill the rose-red and the sable feather
Blend in one crown's plume, as grief with mirth:
Ill met still are warm and wintry weather,
 Death and birth.