My soul, why dost thou such a mourning make,
This loathsome ruined prison to forsake?
Seest thou these eyes? (’Tis thou that gives them sight,
Or they would quickly set in endless night.)
What splendent sprightliness in youth they had!
Now weeping makes them dim and dull and sad.
These locks did curl, and were a golden brown;
Now thin and lank like silver threads hang down.
My lovely count’nance had a pleasing grace;
Now, Erra Pater’s or a sibyl’s face.
My lips were cherries, rosy were my cheeks;
But those that now for blood or beauty seek
Will find them spoiled by Time and adverse Fate,
Whose cruelty doth give to all a date.
My skin was once as white as new fallen snow;
Through azure veins vermillion blood did flow.
Then were my swelling breasts the bed of love,
As smooth, as soft, as white as swan or dove;
As lilies fading shrink to shun the light,
So are my withered breasts shut out of sight;
Time’s tyranny they feel, and Sorrow’s spite.
My sportive wit and mirth is now laid by;
None is more moping now, and dull, than I.
My joys to heaven with my dear Pen did fly.
Then why, my soul, art thou so fond to stay,
Seeing all that’s lovely in me doth decay?
For shame! Pack up thy virtues, and away.