One Day I Wrote Her Name

One day I wrote her name upon the strand,
But came the waves and washed it away:
Again I wrote it with a second hand,
But came the tide and made my pains his prey.
"Vain man," said she, "that dost in vain essay
A mortal thing so to immortalize;
For I myself shall like to this decay,
And eke my name be wiped out likewise."
"Not so," quoth I; "let baser things devise
To lie in dust, but you shall live by fame;
My verse your virtues rare shall eternize,
And in the heavens write you glorious name:
Where, whenas Death shall all the world subdue,
Our love shall live, and later life renew."

 

One Day I Wrote Her Name by Edmund Spenser (1552-1599)

painting by: William Holman Hunt
"The Awakening Conscience"
1853

 

 

 

 


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