WHEN I have seen by Time’s fell hand defac’d|
The rich-proud cost of outworn buried age;
When sometime lofty towers I see down-raz’d,
And brass eternal slave to mortal rage;
When I have seen the hungry ocean gain
Advantage on the kingdom of the shore,
And the firm soil win of the watery main,
Increasing store with loss, and loss with store;
When I have seen such interchange of state,
Or state itself confounded, to decay;
Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate—
That Time will come and take my love away.
This thought is as a death which cannot choose
But weep to have, that which it fears to lose.