Verse > Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey > Poetical Works
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Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (1517–47).  The Poetical Works.  1880.
 
Songs and Sonnets
The Frailty and Hurtfulness of Beauty
 
BRITTLE 1 beauty, that Nature made so frail,
Whereof the gift is small, and short is the season;
Flowering to-day, to-morrow apt to fail;
Tickle treasure, abhorred of reason:
Dangerous to deal with, vain, of none avail;        5
Costly in keeping, past not worth two peason; 2
Slipper in sliding, as is an eel’s tail;
Hard to obtain, once gotten, not geason: 3
Jewel of jeopardy, that peril doth assail;
False and untrue, enticed oft to treason;        10
Enemy to youth, that most may I bewail;
Ah! bitter sweet, infecting as the poison,
  Thou farest as fruit that with the frost is taken;
  To-day ready ripe, to-morrow all to shaken.
 
Note 1. In the Harrington MS. this poem is attributed to Lord Vaux. [back]
Note 2. Two pease. [back]
Note 3. Rare, or uncommon. [back]
 
 
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