Though you are yoong and I am olde,
Though your vaines hot, and my bloud colde,
Though youth is moist, and age is drie,
Yet embers liue, when flames doe die.
The tender graft is easely broke,
But who shall shake the sturdie Oke?
You are more fresh and faire then I,
Yet stubs doe liue when flowers doe die.
Thou that thy youth doest vainely boast,
Know buds are soonest nipt with frost,
Thinke that thy fortune still doth crie,
Thou foole, to-morrow thou must die.
Ah! wherefore with infection should he live,
And with his presence grace impiety,
That sin by him advantage should achieve,
And lace itself with his society?
Why should false painting imitate his cheek,
And steel dead seeming of his living hue?
Why should poor beauty indirectly seek
Roses of shadow, since his rose is true?
Why should he live, now Nature bankrupt is,
Beggar'd of blood to blush through lively veins?
For she hath no exchequer now but his,
And proud of many, lives upon his gains.
O! him she stores, to show what wealth she had
In days long since, before these last so bad.
Really. Somebody's a little more at home with his mortality than somebody else, I'd say.
Also, how the hell did I manage to miss this all these years?
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed, whereon it must expire,
Consum'd with that which it was nourish'd by. *
That thing Tim Powers talks about, where you start rooting around in history trying to find material with which to make stuff up and wind up half-convinced you've uncovered a vast conspiracy? It's so bloody true.
It's a good thing I put elves in mine, or I'd be convinced by now. (This is how conspiracy theorists are born. Well, that and the uneasy suspicion that between them, Francis Walsingham and Robert Cecil were really the instigators of every assassination attempt they allegedly foiled for a good fifty years.)
* Yeah, yeah, everybody in period from Marlowe to Descartes. I'm sure it's just because they all had syphilis. It's still creepy at 7 am.
Incidentally, does anybody know who the subject of Campion's Arthur epigram is? Google is less than helpful with that, though it's giving me creepy sonnets galore.
Camelot project, previously linked but worth rolling in some more.
Memo to me: read The Misfortunes of Arthur Dude, it's got an Angharad in it.