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

A Farewell to Arms

(To Queen Elizabeth)

His golden locks Time hath to silver turn'd;

O Time too swift, O swiftness never ceasing!

His youth 'gainst time and age hath ever spurn'd,

But spurn'd in vain; youth waneth by increasing:

Beauty, strength, youth, are flowers but fading seen;

Duty, faith, love, are roots, and ever green.

His helmet now shall make a hive for bees;

And, lovers' sonnets turn'd to holy psalms,

A man-at-arms must now serve on his knees,

And feed on prayers, which are Age his alms:

But though from court to cottage he depart,

His Saint is sure of his unspotted heart.

And when he saddest sits in homely cell,

He'll teach his swains this carol for a song,—

"Blest be the hearts that wish my sovereign well,

Curst be the souls that think her any wrong."

Goddess, allow this agéd man his right

To be your beadsman now that was your knight.

— George Peele

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