The Frailty and Hurtfulness of Beauty

Original Text: 
Songes and Sonettes (London: Tottel, 1557). Facs. edn. (Leeds: Scolar, 1966). PR 1205 T6 1966 Victoria College Library
2Whereof the gift is small, and short the season;
3Flow'ring today, tomorrow apt to fail,
5Dangerous to deal with, vain, of none avail,
7Slipper in sliding, as is an eelës tail,
9Jewel of jeopardy that peril doth assail,
10False and untrue, enticèd oft to treason,
11Enemy to youth; that most may I bewail.
12Ah, bitter sweet, infecting as the poison,
13    Thou farest as fruit that with the frost is taken,
14    Today ready ripe, tomorrow all to-shaken.


1] Tottel prints as Surrey's poem but it is assigned to Lord Vaux in British Library Add. MS. 28635. Back to Line
4] Tickle: delicate. Back to Line
6] peason: peas. A later spelling of the Middle English plural pesen. Back to Line
8] geason: rare. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
N. J. Endicott
RPO Edition: 
2RP 1.86.