Believe Your Glass

Believe your glass, and it will tell you, dear,
Your eyes enshrine
A brighter shine
Than fair Apollo; look if there appear
The milky sky,
The crimson dye
Mixed in your cheeks; and then bid Phoebus set;
More glory than he owes appears. But yet

.  .  .  Be not deceived with false alteration:
                    .  .  .  .  .  .
                    .  .  .  .  .  .
                    As Cynthia’s globe,
                    A snow-white robe,
Is soonest spotted; a carnation dye
Fades and discolours, opened but to eye.

Make use of youth and beauty while they flourish,
                    Time never sleeps ;
                    Though it but creeps
It still gets forward.   Do not vainly nourish
                    Them to self-use :
                    It is abuse;
The richest grounds lying waste turn bogs and rot,
And so being useless were as good were not.

Walk in a meadow by a river-side,
                    Upon whose banks
                    Grow milk-white ranks
Of full-blown lilies in their height of pride,
                    Which downward bend,
                    And nothing tend
Save their own beauties in their glassy stream:
Look to yourself; compare yourself with them—

In show, in beauty: mark what follows then ;
                    Summer must end,
                    The sun must bend
Its long absented beams to others; when
                    Their Spring being crossed
                    By winter’s frost,
And snipped by bitter storms ‘gainst which nought boots,
They bend their proud tops lower than their roots.

Then none regard them, but with heedless feet
                    In dust each treads
                    Their declin’d heads.
So when youth’s wasted, Age and you shall meet;
                    Then I alone
                    Shall sadly moan
That interview; others it will not move;
So light regard we what we little love.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *