Vain-glorious man, when fluttering wind does blow In his light wing's, is lifted up to sky; The scorn of-knighthood and true chivalry. To think, without desert of gentle deed And noble worth, to be advanced high, Such praise is shame, but honour, virtue's meed, Doth bear the fairest flower in honourable seed.
What though the sea with waves continuall Doe eate the earth, it is no more at all ; Ne is the earth the lesse, or loseth ought : For whatsoever from one place doth fall Is with the tyde unto another brought : For there is nothing lost, that may be found if sought.
Full little knowest thou that hast not tried, What hell it is in suing long to bide: To loose good dayes, that might be better spent; To waste long nights in pensive discontent; To speed to-day, to be put back to-morrow; To feed on hope, to pine with feare and sorrow.
So passeth, in the passing of a day, Of mortal life, the leaf, the bud, the flower; No more doth flourish after first decay, That erst was sought to deck both bed and bower Of many a lady and many a paramour. Gather therefore the rose whilst yet in prime, For soon comes age that will her pride deflower. Gather the rose of love whilst yet in time, Whilst loving thou mayst loved be with equal crime.
After her came jolly June, arrayed All in green leaves, as he a player were; Yet in his time he wrought as well as played, That by his plough-irons mote right well appear. Upon a crab he rode, that did him bear, With crooked crawling steps, an uncouth pace, And backward rode, as bargemen wont to fare, Bending their force contrary to their face; Like that ungracious crew which feigns demurest grace.
What man so wise, what earthly wit so ware, As to descry the crafty cunning train, By which deceit doth mask in visor fair, And cast her colours dyed deep in grain, To seem like truth, whose shape she well can feign, And fitting gestures to her purpose frame, The guiltless man with guile to entertain?