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Then Beauty bade to blow retreat,
And every soldier to retire,
Me captive bound as prisoner.
"Madam," quoth I, " sith that this day
"Hath served you at all assays, "I yield to you, without delay,
"Here of the fortress all the keys.
"And sith that I have been the mark "At whom you shot at with your eye,
"Needs must you with your handy-tuarA, z "Or salve my sore, or let me die."
The aged lover renounceth love, *
I loath that I did love
In youth that I thought sweet,
As time requires for my behove,
My lusts they do me leave,
* Fetch. Ed. 1567, " »et." * Work.
* The editor of Reliques of Anc. Poetry has given some different readings in this poem, from a MS. in the Museum. Vide II. 186. 'So ed. I.—Ed. 1567, " are."
And tract of time begins to weave
For Age with stealing steps
Hath claw'd me with his crowch,
And lusty Life away she leaps,
My Muse doth not delight
Me, as she did before:
As they have been of yore.
For Reason me denies
This youthly idle rhyme;
"Leave off these toys in time."
The wrinkles in my brow,
The furrows in my face, Say, limping Age will hedge * him now,
Where Youth must give him place.
The harbinger of Death
To me I see him ride:
Doth bid me to provide
A pick-axe and a spade,
And eke a shrouding-sheet, A house of clay for to be made
For such a guest most meet.
Methinks I hear the clerk,
That knolls the careful knell; And bids me leave my woful mark
Ere Nature me compel.
My keepers knit the knot
That Youth did laugh to scorn,
Of me that clean shall be forgot,
Thus must I Youth give up,
Whose badge I long did wear: To them I yield the wanton cup
That better may it bear.
Lo here the bared * scull!
By whose bald sign I know
Which youthful years did sowf
For Beauty with her baud
These crooked cares hath wrought, • Ed. 1567, " bareheid."
And shipped me into the land
And ye that 'bide behind,
As ye of clay were cast by kind,
Of a contented Mind.
[From the Paradise of Dainty Devices; ed. 1578. Each of the following stanzas is printed as four lines in the original.]
When all is done and said,
In th' end thus shall you find;
That hath a quiet mind:
To deem can be content
In thinking to be spent.
The body subject is
To fickle Fortune's power,
Is casual every hour:
And death in time doth change
It to a clod of clay;
Runs never to decay.
Companion none is like
Unto the mind alone; For many have been harm'd by speech*
Through thinking, few, or none. Fear oftentimes restraineth words,
But makes not thoughts to cease; And he speaks best, that hath the skill
When for to hold his peace.
Our wealth leaves us at death;
Our kinsmen at the grave: But virtues of the mind unto
The heavens with us we have.
I can be well content
To deem in thinking spent.