The Frailty And Hurtfulness Of Beauty

Brittle beauty, that nature made so frail,
Whereof the gift is small, and short the season;
Flow'ring today, tomorrow apt to fail,
Tickle treasure, abhorrèd of reason;
Dangerous to deal with, vain, of none avail,
Costly in keeping, past not worth two peason;
Slipper in sliding, as is an eelës tail,
Hard to obtain, once gotten, not geason;
Jewel of jeopardy that peril doth assail,
False and untrue, enticèd oft to treason,
Enemy to youth; that most may I bewail.
Ah, bitter sweet, infecting as the poison,
Thou farest as fruit that with the frost is taken,
Today ready ripe, tomorrow all to-shaken.

by Henry Howard

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