Sir William Davenant

(1606 - 1668 / England)

To a Mistress Dying


Lover. YOUR beauty, ripe and calm and fresh
   As eastern summers are,
Must now, forsaking time and flesh,
   Add light to some small star.

Philosopher. Whilst she yet lives, were stars decay'd,
   Their light by hers relief might find;
But Death will lead her to a shade
   Where Love is cold and Beauty blind.

Lover. Lovers, whose priests all poets are,
   Think every mistress, when she dies,
Is changed at least into a star:
   And who dares doubt the poets wise?

Philosopher. But ask not bodies doom'd to die
   To what abode they go;
Since Knowledge is but Sorrow's spy,
   It is not safe to know.

Submitted: Saturday, January 04, 2003

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