Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
 
Time
By Jasper Mayne (1604–1672)
 
      TIME 1 is the feather’d thing,
          And, whilst I praise
The sparklings of thy looks and call them rays,
            Takes wing,
      Leaving behind him as he flies        5
An unperceivèd dimness in thine eyes.
      His minutes, whilst they ’re told,
          Do make us old;
      And every sand of his fleet glass,
      Increasing age as it doth pass,        10
      Insensibly sows wrinkles there
      Where flowers and roses do appear.
      Whilst we do speak, our fire
      Doth into ice expire,
          Flames turn to frost;        15
          And ere we can
      Know how our crow turns swan,
      Or how a silver snow
      Springs there where jet did grow,
Our fading spring is in dull winter lost.        20
 
      Since then the Night hath hurl’d
          Darkness, Love’s shade,
      Over its enemy the Day, and made
              The world
      Just such a blind and shapeless thing        25
As ’twas before the light did from darkness spring.
      Let us employ its treasure
      And make shade pleasure:
Let’s number out the hours by blisses,
And count the minutes by our kisses;        30
      Let the heavens new motions feel
      And by our embraces wheel;
      And whilst we try the way
      By which Love doth convey
              Soul unto soul,        35
              And mingling so
      Makes them such raptures know
      As makes them èntranced lie
              In mutual ecstasy,
Let the harmonious spheres in music roll!        40
 
Note 1. Jasper Mayne was Archdeacon of Chichester. He played the dramatist and wrote much occasional verse, some of which is to be found in Jonsonus Virbius, and prefixed to the Second folio ed. of Beaumont and Fletcher, 1679. In middle life Mayne gave up poetry. The piece here given is by far the best of his shorter poems. [back]
 
 
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