One day I wrote her
name upon the strand,
But came the wave
s 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, "that dost in vain assay,
A mortal thing so to immortalize!
For I my self shall like to this decay,
And eke my name be wiped out likewise."
"Not so," quod 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."
- Edmund Spenser