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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Elizabethan Verse. 1907.

Fair Is the Rose


FAIR is the rose, yet fades with heat or cold:

Sweet are the violets, yet soon grow old;

The lily’s white, yet in one day ’tis done;

White is the snow, yet melts against the sun:

So white, so sweet, was my fair mistress’ face,

Yet altered quite in one short hour’s space:

So short-lived beauty a vain gloss doth borrow,

Breathing delight to-day but none to-morrow.