The Frailty and Hurtfulness of Beauty by Henry Howard

Brittle beauty, that nature made so frail,
Whereof the gift is small, and short the season;
Flow’ring to-day, to-morrow apt to fail;
Fickle treasure, abhorred of reason:
Dangerous to deal with, vain, of none avail;
Costly in keeping, past not worth two peason;
Slipper in sliding, as is an eel’s tail;
Hard to attain, once gotten not geason :
Jewel of jeopardy, that peril doth assail;
False and untrue, enticed oft to treason;
En’my to youth, that most may I bewail;
Ah! bitter sweet, infecting as the poison,
Thou farest as fruit that with the frost is taken,
To day ready ripe, to-morrow all to shaken.

From: Songs and Sonnets of the Earl of Surrey, ?1809, pp. 10-11.
(http://ia700506.us.archive.org/13/items/songssonnsurrey00surruoft/songssonnsurrey00surruoft.pdf)

Date: 1557 (published)

By: Henry Howard (1517-1547)

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