Wednesday, May 23, 2007

William Drummond of Hawthornden

I know that all beneath the moon decays

I know that all beneath the moon decays,
And what by mortals in this world is brought,
In Time's great periods shall return to nought;
That fairest states have fatal nights and days;
I know how all the Muse's heavenly lays,
With toil of spright which are so dearly bought,
As idle sounds, of few or none are sought,
And that nought lighter is than airy praise;
I know frail beauty like the purple flower,
To which one morn both birth and death affords;
That love a jarring is of mind's accords,
Where sense and will invassal reason's power:
Know what I list, this all can not me move,
But that, O me! I must write and love.
William Drummond of Hawthornden (1585-1649) was a Scottish poem and historian. The tragic death of his fiancee on the eve of their wedding inspired many of his sonnets.
From Great Sonnets Edited by Paul Negri, Dover Publications, Inc., New York.

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