Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
X. The Pity of It
On the Death of a fair Infant
By John Milton (1608–1674)
O FAIREST flower no sooner blown but blasted,
Soft silken primrose fading timelessly,
Summer’s chief honour if thou hadst outlasted
Bleak Winter’s force that made thy blossom dry:
For he being amorous on that lovely dye        5
  That did thy cheek envermeil, thought to kiss,
But killed alas! and then bewailed his fatal bliss.
Yet can I not persuade me thou art dead
Or that thy corse corrupts in earth’s dark womb,
Or that thy beauties lie in wormy bed        10
Hid from the world in a low delvèd tomb;
Could Heaven, for pity, thee so strictly doom?
  Oh no! for something in thy face did shine
Above mortality that showed thou wast divine.

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