Beauty Is Vain

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While roses are so red,
 While lilies are so white,
Shall a woman exalt her face
 Because it gives delight?
She's not so sweet as a rose,
 A lily's straighter than she,
And if she were as red or white
 She'd be but one of three.

Whether she flush in love's summer
 Or in its winter grow pale,
Whether she flaunt her beauty
 Or hide it away in a veil,
Be she red or white,
 And stand she erect or bowed,
Time will win the race he runs with her
 And hide her away in a shroud.

© Christina Georgina Rossetti