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By Edmund Waller

Go, lovely rose!

Tell her that wastes her time and me,

That now she knows,

When I resemble her to thee,

How sweet and fair she seems to be.


Tell her that’s young,

And shuns to have her graces spied,

That hadst thou sprung

In deserts, where no men abide,

Thou must have uncommended died.


Small is the worth

Of beauty from the light retired;

Bid her come forth,

Suffer herself to be desired,

And not blush so to be admired.


Then die! that she

The common fate of all things rare

May read in thee;

How small a part of time they share

That are so wondrous sweet and fair!


Poet Bio

Elected to Parliament at age 16, Edmund Waller quickly gained a reputation as a masterful orator. He was also a celebrated lyric poet long before the publication of his Poems in 1645. Despite his eloquent efforts to placate both Oliver Cromwell and Charles II, Waller was forced into exile for nearly a decade. His highly refined work, particularly his heroic couplets, were much admired by Alexander Pope and John Dryden.

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