Sonnet 75 (Spenser)

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Sonnet LXXV

ONE day I wrote her name upon the strand,
  but came the waves 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 myself 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 when as death shall all the world subdue,
  our love shall live, and later life renew.

This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.