Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, BALLAD, by EUSTACHE DESCHAMPS



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BALLAD, by            
First Line: There is no flower, no violet e'er so sweet
Last Line: Old age ends all, in youth alone is grace.


THERE is no flower, no violet e'er so sweet,
Nor tree, nor brier, whatever charms they show,
Beauty nor worth where all perfections meet,
No man, nor woman, though her fate bestow
Bright locks, fair skin, cheeks that like roses glow,
Or wise or foolish nought by nature made,
Which length of time shall age not, and degrade,
But the fierce hunter death shall hold in chase,
And which, when old, the world will not upbraid:
Old age ends all, in youth alone is grace.

Spring flowers that perfumes yield most exquisite,
To charm our senses, last but for a day;
Comes the rough wind and does the blossom smite,
And lays it low or tears the leaves away:
Thus trees and mortals hasten to decay.
Nought Nature rules can against change contend:
Whate'er on earth is born fell death shall end;
E'en a small fever can man's life efface.
Age comes, th' allotted span can none extend:
Old age ends all, in youth alone is grace.

Why then do blooming dame and youthful maids
Such danger see in love and being loved?
Like trampled grass, youth soon dries up and fades;
'Tis folly, then, if pity be not proved
For one another, for from life removed
Both those who love and those who love defy,
The latter pitiless shall blame descry;
While kindly lovers shall renown embrace,
And all the world shall prize and glorify,
Old age ends all, in youth alone is grace.

ENVOY

Prince, each one ought in youth's delightful prime
To enjoy and snatch his fate-allotted time;
Age shall our youth with other cares replace:
Thus from both periods shall we profit take.
Let none through pride love unattempted make;
Old age ends all, in youth alone is grace.





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