Are They Shadows

By Samuel Daniel 1562–1619 Samuel Daniel
Are they shadows that we see?
And can shadows pleasure give?
Pleasures only shadows be
Cast by bodies we conceive
And are made the things we deem
In those figures which they seem.

But these pleasures vanish fast
Which by shadows are expressed;
Pleasures are not, if they last;
In their passing is their best.
Glory is most bright and gay
In a flash, and so away.

Feed apace then, greedy eyes,
On the wonder you behold;
Take it sudden as it flies,
Though you take it not to hold.
When your eyes have done their part,
Thought must length it in the heart.

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Poet Samuel Daniel 1562–1619

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Biography

Though admired as a lyric poet and historian, Samuel Daniel has found few enthusiastic readers for his dramatic works. Sober minded, restrained, reflective, and frequently prosaic, Daniel stands outside the popular-stage tradition, yet as an innovator he is of considerable importance in the history of Renaissance drama. Cleopatra is one of the earliest and best attempts to transplant French Senecan closet drama to the English . . .

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POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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