Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO A MISTRESS DYING, by WILLIAM DAVENANT

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

TO A MISTRESS DYING, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Your beauty, ripe and calm and fresh
Last Line: It is not safe to know.
Alternate Author Name(s): D'avenant, William
Variant Title(s): The Philosopher And The Lover To A Mistress Dying
Subject(s): Death; Dead, The

Lover. YOUR beauty, ripe and calm and fresh
As eastern summers are,
Must now, forsaking time and flesh,
Add light to some small star.

Philosopher. Whilst she yet lives, were stars decay'd,
Their light by hers relief might find;
But Death will lead her to a shade
Where Love is cold and Beauty blind.

Lover. Lovers, whose priests all poets are,
Think every mistress, when she dies,
Is changed at least into a star:
And who dares doubt the poets wise?

Philosopher. But ask not bodies doom'd to die
To what abode they go;
Since Knowledge is but
Sorrow's spy,
It is not safe to know.

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