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

A Palinode

Edmund Bolton (1575?–1633?)

AS withereth the primrose by the river,

As fadeth summer’s sun from gliding fountains,

As vanisheth the light-blown bubble ever,

As melteth snow upon the mossy mountains:

So melts, so vanisheth, so fades, so withers,

The rose, the shine, the bubble, and the snow,

Of praise, pomp, glory, joy, which short life gathers,

Fair praise, vain pomp, sweet glory, brittle joy.

The withered primrose by the mourning river,

The faded summer’s sun from weeping fountains,

The light-blown bubble vanishèd for ever,

The molten snow upon the naked mountains,

Are emblems that the treasures we up-lay

Soon wither, vanish, fade, and melt away.

For as the snow, whose lawn did overspread

Th’ ambitious hills, which giant-like did threat

To pierce the heavens with their aspiring head,

Naked and bare doth leave their craggy seat;

Whenas the bubble, which did empty fly,

The dalliance of the undiscernèd wind,

On whose calm rolling waves it did rely,

Hath shipwrack made, where it did dalliance find;

And when the sunshine which dissolved the snow,

Coloured the bubble with a pleasant vary,

And made the rathe and timely primrose grow,

Swarth clouds withdrawn, which longer time do tarry:

O what is praise, pomp, glory, joy, but so

As shine by fountains, bubbles, flowers, or snow?