Verse > Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey > Poetical Works
Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (1517–47).  The Poetical Works.  1880.
Songs and Sonnets
The Frailty and Hurtfulness of Beauty
BRITTLE 1 beauty, that Nature made so frail,
Whereof the gift is small, and short is the season;
Flowering to-day, to-morrow apt to fail;
Tickle treasure, abhorred of reason:
Dangerous to deal with, vain, of none avail;        5
Costly in keeping, past not worth two peason; 2
Slipper in sliding, as is an eel’s tail;
Hard to obtain, once gotten, not geason: 3
Jewel of jeopardy, that peril doth assail;
False and untrue, enticed oft to treason;        10
Enemy to youth, that most may I bewail;
Ah! bitter sweet, infecting as the poison,
  Thou farest as fruit that with the frost is taken;
  To-day ready ripe, to-morrow all to shaken.
Note 1. In the Harrington MS. this poem is attributed to Lord Vaux. [back]
Note 2. Two pease. [back]
Note 3. Rare, or uncommon. [back]

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2020 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit · Free Essays · Cookie Settings