Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of English Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.
Jasper Mayne. 1604–1672
296. Time
TIME is the feather'd thing, 
    And, whilst I praise 
The sparklings of thy looks and call them rays, 
              Takes wing, 
    Leaving behind him as he flies         5
An unperceivèd dimness in thine eyes. 
    His minutes, whilst they're told, 
        Do make us old; 
    And every sand of his fleet glass, 
    Increasing age as it doth pass,  10
    Insensibly sows wrinkles there 
    Where flowers and roses do appear. 
    Whilst we do speak, our fire 
    Doth into ice expire, 
        Flames turn to frost;  15
        And ere we can 
    Know how our crow turns swan, 
    Or how a silver snow 
    Springs there where jet did grow, 
Our fading spring is in dull winter lost.  20
    Since then the Night hath hurl'd 
        Darkness, Love's shade, 
    Over its enemy the Day, and made 
             The world 
    Just such a blind and shapeless thing  25
As 'twas before light did from darkness spring, 
    Let us employ its treasure 
    And make shade pleasure: 
Let 's number out the hours by blisses, 
And count the minutes by our kisses;  30
    Let the heavens new motions feel 
    And by our embraces wheel; 
    And whilst we try the way 
    By which Love doth convey 
        Soul unto soul,  35
        And mingling so 
    Makes them such raptures know 
    As makes them entrancèd lie 
        In mutual ecstasy, 
Let the harmonious spheres in music roll!  40
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