1 If thou survive my well-contented day,
2 When that churl Death my bones with dust shall cover,
3 And shalt by fortune once more re-survey
4 These poor rude lines of thy deceased lover,
5 Compare them with the bettering of the time,
6 And though they be outstripp'd by every pen,
7 Reserve them for my love, not for their rhyme,
8 Exceeded by the height of happier men.
9 O, then vouchsafe me but this loving thought:
10 'Had my friend's Muse grown with this growing age,
11 A dearer birth than this his love had brought
12 To march in ranks of better equipage:
13 But since he died and poets better prove,
14 Theirs for their style I'll read, his for his love.'