Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
 
I Know That All beneath the Moon Decays
By William Drummond of Hawthornden (1585–1649)
 
I KNOW that all beneath the moon decays,
And what by mortals in this world is brought
In time’s great periods shall return to naught;
That fairest states have fatal nights and days.
I know how all the Muse’s heavenly lays,        5
With toil of sprite which is so dearly bought,
As idle sounds, of few or none are sought;
And that naught lighter is than airy praise.
I know frail beauty like the purple flower
To which one morn oft birth and death affords;        10
That love a jarring is of mind’s accords,
Where sense and will invassall reason’s power.
Know what I list, this all cannot me move,
But that, O me! I both must write and love.
 
 
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