Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Waddington, ed. > The Sonnets of Europe
Samuel Waddington, comp.  The Sonnets of Europe.  1888.
A Sonnet to Heavenly Beauty
By Joachim du Bellay (1552–1560)
Translated by Andrew Lang

IF this our little life is but a day
  In the Eternal,—if the years in vain
  Toil after hours that never come again,—
If everything that hath been must decay,
Why dreamest thou of joys that pass away,        5
  My soul, that my sad body doth restrain?
  Why of the moment’s pleasure art thou fain?
Nay, thou hast wings,—nay, seek another stay.
There is the joy where to each soul aspires,
And there the rest that all the world desires,        10
  And there is love, and peace, and gracious mirth;
And there in the most highest heavens shalt thou
Behold the Very Beauty, whereof now
  Thou worshippest the shadow upon earth.

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