Francesco's Sonnet, Made in the Prime of His Penance

by Robert Greene

Robert Greene

With sweating brows I long have plough'd the sands;

My seed was youth, my crop was endless care:

Repent hath sent me home with empty hands

At last, to tell how rife our follies are;

And time hath left experience to approve,

The gain is grief to those that traffic love.

The silent thoughts of my repentant years

That fill my head have call'd me home at last;

Now love unmask'd a wanton wretch appears,

Begot by guileful thought with over-haste;

In prime of youth a rose, in age a weed,

That for a minute's joy pays endless need.

Dead to delights, a foe to fond conceit,

Allied to wit by want and sorrow bought,

Farewell, fond youth, long foster'd in deceit;

Forgive me, time, disguis'd in idle thought;

And, love, adieu, love, hasting to mine end,

I find no time too late for to amend!

Last updated September 24, 2017