Love (6)

When the sad ruines of that face
In its owne wrinkles buried lyes
And the stiffe pride of all its grace,
By time undone, fals slack and dyes:
Wilt thou not sigh, and wish in some vext fit,
That it were now as when I courted it?

And when thy glasse shall it present,
Without those smiles which once were there,
Showing like some stale monument,
A scalpe departed from its haire,
At thy selfe frighted wilt not start and sweare
That I belied thee, when I call’d thee faire?

Yes, yes, I know thou wilt, and so
Pitty the weaknesse of thy scorne,
That now hath humbled thee to know,
Though faire it was, it is forlorne,
Love’s sweetes thy aged corps embalming not,
What marvell if thy carkasse, beauty, rot?

Then shall I live, and live to be
Thy envie, though my pitty; say
When e’re thou see mee, or I thee,
(Being nighted from thy beautie’s day),
‘Tis hee, and had my pride not wither’d mee,
I had, perhaps, beene still as fresh as hee.

Then shall I smile, and answer: ‘True thy scorne
Left thee thus wrinkled, slackt, corrupt, forlorne.’

Thomas Beedome, The Question and the Answer, England, the first half of the 17th century


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