When from afar I saw your beauty shine,
I thought that my whole life were fitly given,
If by such gift I made your beauty mine,
If by such loss I gained the highest heaven.
But when I stood beside you, and your eyes
Were raised to mine, their brightness all unveiled,
The charm had vanished: with a sad surprise
I found with nearness all desire had failed.
If you had changed, or I had witless grown,
Blind to your beauty, deaf to your sweet speech,
I knew not, when as cold as any stone
I turned from all that seemed within my reach.
Now, near or far, no longer I desire
That which of late set all my heart on fire.
THE FATE OF BEAUTY.
Old age to Beauty doth more fatal prove
Than Death in Beauty's bloom and blossoming,
Which snatching loveliness from arms o£ love
Sets all the world a moment sorrowing.
That, like a subtle forger, whose base art
Obscures, defaces, desecrates at will,
And leaving all yet changes every part
And makes all valueless with knavish skill.
This, like a thief who steals a diadem,
But knowing not to change the treasure's worth,
In guilty haste hides deep the priceless gem,
A flawless jewel still, beneath the earth:-
And yet 'twixt this and that, how hard to say
Which bitter is—swift death or slow decay!