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Time, cruel time (1606)

Time, cruel time

Time, cruel Time, canst thou subdue that brow
That conquers all but thee, and thee too stays,
As if she were exempt from scythe or bow,
From love and years, unsubject to decays?
Or art thou grown in league with those fair eyes,
That they might aid thee to consume our days?
Or dost thou love her for her cruelties,
Being merciless like thee that no man weighs?
Then do so still, although she makes no ’steem
Of days nor years, but lets them run in vain.
Hold still thy swift-winged hours, that wond’ring seem
To gaze on her, even to turn back again;
And do so still, although she nothing cares.
Do as I do, love her although in vain.
Hold still. Yet, O I fear, at unawares
Thou wilt beguile her though thou seem’st so kind.

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