The Passionate Pilgrim (VII, XII)

by William Shakespeare


Fair is my love, but not so fair as fickle;
Mild as a Dove, but neither true nor trusty;
Brighter than glass, and yet, as glass is brittle;
Softer than wax, and yet, as Iron, rusty:
A Lily pale, with damask dye to grace her,
None fairer, nor none falser to deface her.

Her lips to mine how often hath she joined,
Between each kiss her oaths of true love swearing!
How many tales to please me hath she coined,
Dreading my love, the loss thereof still fearing!
Yet in the midst of all her pure protestings,
Her faith, her oaths, her tears, and all were jestings.

She burn’d with love, as straw with fire flameth;
She burn’d out love, as soon as straw outburneth;
She framed the love, and yet she foil’d the framing;
She bade love last, and yet she fell a-turning.
Was this a lover, or a Lecher whether?
Bad in the best, though excellent in neither.


Crabbed age and youth cannot live together
Youth is full of pleasance, Age is full of care;
Youth like summer morn, Age like winter weather;
Youth like summer brave, Age like winter bare;
Youth is full of sport, Age’s breath is short;
Youth is nimble, Age is lame;
Youth is hot and bold, Age is weak and cold;
Youth is wild, and Age is tame.
Age, I do abhor thee; Youth, I do adore thee;
O, my love, my love is young!
Age, I do defy thee: O, sweet Shepherd, hie thee,
For methinks thou stay’st too long.


Note: The text of the above poems has been taken from Project Gutenberg. In order to be more true to the original manuscript, I have changed a) capitalizations where the original manuscript conflicted with the Project Gutenberg text and b) the word ‘bath’ in line 9 of the first poem to ‘hath’, since that appeared to be a typo. I accessed a facsimile copy of the original manuscript on the Internet Archive here.

Whodunnit: The Passionate Pilgrim

Stylistic Analysis