Author: Henry David Thoreau (221.214.141.---)
Date: 10-27-05 22:12
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Beauty is unbearable, drives us to despair, offering us for a minute the glimpse of an eternity that we
should like to stretch out over the whole of time. -Albert Camus
Thus can my love excuse the slow offence
Of my dull bearer when from thee I speed:
From where thou art why should I haste me thence?
Till I return, of posting is no need.
O! what excuse will my poor beast then find,
When swift extremity can seem but slow?
Then should I spur, though mounted on the wind,
In winged speed n:motion shall I know,
Then can no horse with my desire keep pace;
Therefore desire, of perfect\'st love being made,
Shall neigh--no dull flesh--in his fiery race;
But love, for love, thus shall excuse my jade,--
\'Since from thee going, he went wilful-slow,
Towards thee I\'ll run, and give him leave to go.\'
So am I as the rich, whose blessed key,
Can bring him to his sweet up-locked treasure,
The which he will not every hour survey,
For blunting the fine point of seldom pleasure.
Therefore are feasts so solemn and so rare,
Since, seldom coming in that long year set,
Like stones of worth they thinly placed are,
Or captain jewels in the carcanet.
So is the time that keeps you as my chest,
Or as the wardrobe which the robe doth hide,
To make some special instant special-blest,
By new unfolding his imprison\'d pride.
Blessed are you whose worthiness gives scope,
Being had, to triumph; being lacked, to hope.
Where art thou Muse that thou forget\'st so long,
To speak of that which gives thee all thy might?
Spend\'st thou thy fury on some worthless song,
Darkening thy power to lend base subjects light?
Return forgetful Muse, and straight redeem,
In gentle numbers time so idly spent;
Sing to the ear that doth thy lays esteem
And gives thy pen both skill and argument.
Rise, resty Muse, my love\'s sweet face survey,
If Time have any wrinkle graven there;
If any, be a satire to decay,
And make time\'s spoils despised every where.
Give my love fame faster than Time wastes life,
So thou prevent\'st his scythe and crooked knife.
To me, fair friend, you never can be old,
For as you were when first your eye I ey\'d,
Such seems your beauty still. Three winters cold,
Have from the forests shook three summers\' pride,
Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn turn\'d,
In process of the seasons have I seen,
Three April perfumes in three hot Junes burn\'d,
Since first I saw you fresh, which yet are green.
Ah! yet doth beauty like a dial-hand,
Steal from his figure, and no pace perceiv\'d;
So your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand,
Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceiv\'d:
For fear of which, hear this thou age unbred:
Ere you were born was beauty\'s summer dead.