Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. I. Chaucer to Donne
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. I. Early Poetry: Chaucer to Donne
 
From England’s Helicon: A Palinode (Edmund Bolton)
Elizabethan Miscellanies
 
[1600.]

AS withereth the primrose by the river,
As fadeth summer’s sun from gliding fountains,
As vanisheth the light blown bubble ever,
As melteth snow upon the mossy mountains:
So melts, so vanisheth, so fades, so withers,        5
The rose, the shine, the bubble and the snow,
Of praise, pomp, glory, joy, which short life gathers,
Fair praise, vain pomp, sweet glory, brittle joy.
The withered primrose by the mourning river,
The faded summer’s sun from weeping fountains,        10
The light-blown bubble, vanished for ever,
The molten snow upon the naked mountains,
  Are emblems that the treasures we uplay,
  Soon wither, vanish, fade, and melt away.
 
For as the snow, whose lawn did overspread        15
Th’ ambitious hills, which giant-like did threat
To pierce the heaven with their aspiring head,
Naked and bare doth leave their craggy seat:
When as the bubble, which did empty fly,
The dalliance of the undiscerned wind,        20
On whose calm rolling waves it did rely,
Hath shipwreck made, where it did dalliance find:
And when the sunshine which dissolved the snow,
Coloured the bubble with a pleasant vary,
And made the rathe and timely primrose grow,        25
Swarth clouds withdraw, which longer time do tarry:
  O what is praise, pomp, glory, joy, but so
  As shine by fountains, bubbles, flowers or snow?
 
 
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