by Edmund Waller

Phillis, why should we delay
Pleasures shorter than the day?
Can we (which we never can)
Stretch our lives beyond their span;
Beauty like a shadow flies,
And our youth before us dies;
Or would youth and beauty stay,
Love hath wings, and will away.
Love hath swifter wings than Time;
Change in love to Heaven does clime.
Gods that never change their state,
Vary oft their love and hate.
    Phillis, to this truth we owe
All the love betwixt us two:
Let not you and I require
What has been our past desire;
On what Shepherds you have smil'd,
Or what Nymphs I have beguil'd;
Leave it to the Planets too,
What we shall hereafter do;
For the joys we now may prove,
Take advice of present love.

The Anchor Anthology of Sixteenth-Century Verse. Vol 2.
Richard S. Sylvester, ed.
Garden City: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1974.  457-458.


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