Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
XXXIV. Compensation
Sonnet: ‘One day I wrote her name vpon the strand’
By Edmund Spenser (1552?–1599)
ONE day I wrote her name vpon the strand,
But came the waues and washèd it away:
Agayne I wrote it with a second hand,
But came the tyde, and made my paynes his pray.
Vayne man, sayd she, that doest in vaine assay,        5
A mortall thing so to immortalize,
For I my selue shall lyke to this decay,
And eek my name bee wyped out lykewize.
Not so, quod I, let baser things deuize
To dy in dust, but you shall liue by fame:        10
My verse your vertues rare shall éternize,
And in the heuens wryte your glorious name.
Where whenas death shall all the world subdew,
Our loue shall liue, and later life renew.

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