Books > Old Books > The Golden Treasury (1932)


Page 3

BOOK FIRST
3 TIME AND LOVE I

When I have seen by Time's fell hand defaced
The rich proud cost of out-worn buried age;
When sometime lofty towers I see down-razed,
And brass eternal slave to mortal rage;
When I have seen the hungry ocean gain
Advantage on the kingdom of the shore,
And the firm soil win of the watery main,
Increasing store with loss, and loss with store;
When I have seen such interchange of state,
Or state itself confounded to decay,
Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate
That Time will come and take my Love away:
-This thought is as a death, which cannot choose
But weep to have that which it fears to lose.
W. SHAKESPEARE.

Page 4

BOOK FIRST
4 TIME AND LOVE II

Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea,
But sad mortality o'ersways their power,
How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,
Whose action is no stronger than a flower?
O how shall summer's honey breath hold out
Against the wreckful siege of battering days,
When rocks impregnable are not so stout
Nor gates of steel so strong, but time decays?
O fearful meditation! where, alack!
Shall Time's best jewel from Time's chest lie hid?
Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back,
Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid?
0! none, unless this miracle have might,
That in black ink my love may still shine bright.
W. SHAKESPEARE

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