One Day I Wrote Her Name

Edmund Spenser

One day I wrote her name upon the strand,
But came the waves and washed it away;
Again I wrote it with a second hand,
But came the tide and made my pains his prey.

"Vain man," said she "thou dost in vain assay
A mortal thing so to immortalize,
For I myself shall like to this decay,
And eke my name be wiped out likewise."

"Not so," quoth I "let baser things devise
To die in dust, but you shall live by fame:
My verse your virtues rare shall eternize,
And in the heavens write your glorious name;"

"Where, whenas death shall all the world subdue,
Our love shall live, and later life renew."

Amoretti LXXV

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