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William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Oxford Shakespeare: Poems.  1914.

The Passionate Pilgrim, XIII.

“Beauty is but a vain and doubtful good”


BEAUTY is but a vain and doubtful good; 
A shining gloss that vadeth suddenly; 
A flower that dies when first it ’gins to bud; 
A brittle glass that ’s broken presently: 
  A doubtful good, a gloss, a glass, a flower,         5
  Lost, vaded, broken, dead within an hour. 
  
And as goods lost are seld or never found, 
As vaded gloss no rubbing will refresh, 
As flowers dead lie wither’d on the ground, 
As broken glass no cement can redress,  10
  So beauty blemish’d once ’s for ever lost, 
  In spite of physic, painting, pain, and cost. 


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