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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Songs and Their Settings: Time’s Glory

By William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

From the ‘Rape of Lucrece

TIME’S glory is to calm contending kings,

To unmask falsehood, and bring truth to light;

To stamp the seal of time in aged things,

To wake the morn, and sentinel the night,

To wrong the wronger till he render right;

To ruinate proud buildings with thy hours,

And smear with dust their glittering golden towers;

To fill with worm-holes stately monuments,

To feed oblivion with decay of things,

To blot old books, and alter their contents,

To pluck the quills from ancient ravens’ wings,

To dry the old oak’s sap, and cherish springs;

To spoil antiquities of hammered steel,

And turn the giddy round of Fortune’s wheel.

To show the beldame daughters of her daughter,

To make the child a man, the man a child,

To slay the tiger that doth live by slaughter,

To tame the unicorn and lion wild;

To mock the subtle, in themselves beguiled;

To cheer the plowman with increaseful crops,

And waste huge stones with little water-drops.