Home  »  The Book of Elizabethan Verse  »  Sir Richard Fanshawe (1608–1666)

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

A Rose

Sir Richard Fanshawe (1608–1666)

BLOWN in the morning, thou shalt fade ere noon.

What boots a life which in such haste forsakes thee?

Thou’rt wondrous frolic, being to die so soon,

And passing proud a little colour makes thee.

If thee thy brittle beauty so deceives,

Know then the thing that swells thee is thy bane;

For the same beauty doth, in bloody leaves,

The sentence of thy early death contain.

Some clown’s coarse lungs will poison thy sweet flower,

If by the careless plough thou shalt be torn;

And many Herods lie in wait each hour

To murder thee as soon as thou art born—

Nay, force thy bud to blow—their tyrant breath

Anticipating life, to hasten death!