ere it perish

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Why not "ere it perishes"? Is it simply because of poetic license?


Whatever the case, Nick offers these words as a guide to rightly living in this odd complexity:

Love this well

ere it perish.

And thank you for your mystery which I almost entirely do not understand.

-Scientific American

  • natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    It's imitating the style of an older variety of English. Ere for 'before' is a feature of that style. Another feature is the greater use of the subjunctive (hence 'perish' and not 'perishes' or even 'perisheth'). The subjunctive would have been used in Shakespeare's English (around 1600) with conditional clauses or imagined ones.


    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Formerly, 'before' (and the less familiar 'ere') could be used with subjunctive because the event hadn't happened yet; it was hypothetical, in that sense. This is never possible in today's English.
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