Edmund Waller

3 March 1606 – 21 October 1687 / Coleshill / Buckinghamshire / England

To Phyllis

Phyllis! why should we delay
Pleasures shorter than the day?
Can we (which we never can)
Stretch our lives beyond their span,
Beauty like a shadow flies,
And our youth before us dies.
Or, would youth and beauty stay,
Love has wings, and will away.
Love has swifter wings than Time;
Change in love to heaven doth climb.
Gods, that never change their state,
Vary oft their love and hate.
Phyllis! to this truth we owe
All the love betwixt us two.
Let not you and I inquire
What has been our past desire;
On what shepherds you have smiled,
Or what nymphs I have beguiled;
Leave it to the planets too,
What we shall hereafter do;
For the joys we now may prove,
Take advice of present love.
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