Richard Fanshawe (1608-1666)

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The Rose

Blown in the morning, thou shalt fade ere noon:
What boots a life which in such haste forsakes thee?
Th'art 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 murther thee, as soon as thou art born;
Nay, force thy bud to blow! Their tyrant breath
Anticipating life, to hasten death.

(Text from The Book of Sorrow)