Gateway to the Classics: Oxford Book of English Verse, Part 1 by Arthur Quiller-Couch
Oxford Book of English Verse, Part 1 by  Arthur Quiller-Couch

Splendidis Longum Valedico Nugis

Leave me, O Love, which reachest but to dust,

And thou, my mind, aspire to higher things!

Grow rich in that which never taketh rust:

Whatever fades, but fading pleasure brings.

Draw in thy beams, and humble all thy might

To that sweet yoke where lasting freedoms be;

Which breaks the clouds and opens forth the light

That doth both shine and give us sight to see.

O take fast hold! let that light be thy guide

In this small course which birth draws out to death,

And think how evil becometh him to slide

Who seeketh Heaven, and comes of heavenly breath.

Then farewell, world! thy uttermost I see:

Eternal Love, maintain thy life in me!

— Sir Philip Sidney

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