1 The grey-eyed morn smiles on the frowning night,
2 Chequering the eastern clouds with streaks of light,
3 And fleckled darkness like a drunkard reels
4 From forth day's path and Titan's fiery wheels.
5 Now, ere the sun advance his burning eye,
6 The day to cheer and night's dank dew to dry,
7 I must up-fill this osier cage of ours
8 With baleful weeds and precious-juiced flowers.
9 The earth that's nature's mother is her tomb;
10 What is her burying grave that is her womb,
11 And from her womb children of divers kind
12 We sucking on her natural bosom find:
13 Many for many virtues excellent,
14 None but for some and yet all different.
15 O, mickle is the powerful grace that lies
16 In herbs, plants, stones, and their true qualities:
17 For nought so vile that on the earth doth live
18 But to the earth some special good doth give,
19 Nor aught so good but, strain'd from that fair use,
20 Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse.
21 Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied;
22 And vice sometimes by action dignified.
23 Within the infant rind of this weak flower
24 Poison hath residence and medicine power:
25 For this, being smelt, with that part cheers each part;
26 Being tasted, stays all senses with the heart.
27 Two such opposed kings encamp them still
28 In man as well as herbs, grace and rude will;
29 And where the worser is predominant,
30 Full soon the canker death eats up that plant.