Home  »  The Book of Elizabethan Verse  »  Jasper Mayne (1604–1672)

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


Jasper Mayne (1604–1672)

TIME is the feather’d thing,

And, whilst I praise

The sparklings of thy looks and call them rays,

Takes wing,

Leaving behind him as he flies

An unperceivèd dimness in thine eyes.

His minutes, whilst they ’re told,

Do make us old;

And every sand of his fleet glass,

Increasing age as it doth pass,

Insensibly sows wrinkles there

Where flowers and roses do appear.

Whilst we do speak, our fire

Doth into ice expire,

Flames turn to frost;

And ere we can

Know how our crow turns swan,

Or how a silver snow

Springs there where jet did grow,

Our fading spring is in dull winter lost.

Since then the Night hath hurl’d

Darkness, Love’s shade,

Over its enemy the Day, and made

The world

Just such a blind and shapeless thing

As ’twas before the light did from darkness spring.

Let us employ its treasure

And make shade pleasure:

Let’s number out the hours by blisses,

And count the minutes by our kisses;

Let the heavens new motions feel

And by our embraces wheel;

And whilst we try the way

By which Love doth convey

Soul unto soul,

And mingling so

Makes them such raptures know

As makes them èntranced lie

In mutual ecstasy,

Let the harmonious spheres in music roll!