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If thou survive my well-contented day…

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Modern English Original spelling

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If thou survive my well-contented day,
When that churl Death my bones with dust shall cover
And shalt by fortune once more re-survey
These poor rude lines of thy deceased lover,

Compare them with the bett’ring of the time,
And though they be outstripped by every pen,
Reserve them for my love, not for their rhyme,
Exceeded by the height of happier men.

O! then vouchsafe me but this loving thought:
‘Had my friend’s Muse grown with this growing age,
A dearer birth than this his love had brought,
To march in ranks of better equipage:

But since he died and poets better prove,
Theirs for their style I’ll read, his for his love’.

IF thou suruiue my well contented daie,
When that churle death my bones with dust shall couer
And shalt by fortune once more re-suruay:
These poore rude lines of thy deceased Louer:
Compare them with the bett’ring of the time,
And though they be out-stript by euery pen,
Reserue them for my loue, not for their rime,
Exceeded by the hight of happier men.
Oh then voutsafe me but this louing thought,
Had my friends Muse growne with this growing age,
A dearer birth then this his loue had brought
To march in ranckes of better equipage:
But since he died and Poets better proue,
Theirs for their stile ile read, his for his loue.