Philip Pain, from “Daily Meditations” (1688)
Scarce do I pass a day, but that I hear
Some one or other’s dead; and to my ear
Me thinks it is no news: but, Oh, did I
Think deeply on it, what it is to dye,
My pulses all would beat, I should not be
Drown’d in this deluge of security.
N.B.: The book in which this poem appears was published in Boston. Little to nothing is known about Philip Pain, though we assume he was American. Note also that Pain’s couplets savor of English poetry before the “closed couplet” (sometimes called the “heroic couplet”) came to dominate English verse.