Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
To a Mistress Dying
By Sir William Davenant (1606–1668)
Lover.  Your beauty, ripe and calm and fresh
    As eastern summers are,
  Must now, forsaking time and flesh,
    Add light to some small star.
Philosopher.  Whilst she yet lives, were stars decayed,        5
    Their light by hers relief might find;
  But Death will lead her to a shade
    Where Love is cold and Beauty blind.
Lover.  Lovers, whose priests all poets are,
    Think every mistress, when she dies,        10
  Is changed at least into a star:
    And who dares doubt the poets wise?
Philosopher.  But ask not bodies doomed to die
    To what abode they go;
  Since Knowledge is but Sorrow’s spy,        15
    It is not safe to know.

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