by: Richard Crashaw (1613?-1649)

      HOE'ER she be--
      That not impossible She
      That shall command my heart and me:
      Where'er she lie,
      Lock'd up from mortal eye
      In shady leaves of destiny:
      Till that ripe birth
      Of studied Fate stand forth,
      And teach her fair steps to our earth:
      Till that divine
      Idea take a shrine
      Of crystal flesh, through which to shine:
      Meet you her, my Wishes,
      Bespeak her to my blisses,
      And be ye call'd my absent kisses.
      I wish her Beauty,
      That owes not all its duty
      To gaudy tire, or glist'ring shoe-tie:
      Something more than
      Taffata or tissue can,
      Or rampant feather, or rich fan.
      A face, that's best
      By its own beauty drest,
      And can alone command the rest.
      A Face, made up
      Out of no other shop
      Than what Nature's white hand sets ope.
      A Cheek, where youth
      And blood, with pen of truth,
      Write what the reader sweetly ru'th.
      A Cheek, where grows
      More than a morning rose,
      Which to no box his being owes.
      Lips, where all day
      A lover's kiss may play,
      Yet carry nothing thence away.
      Looks that oppress
      Their richest tires, but dress
      And clothe their simplest nakedness.
      Eyes, that displace
      The neighbour diamond, and outface
      That sunshine by their own sweet grace.
      Tresses, that wear
      Jewels but to declare
      How much themselves more precious are:
      Whose native ray
      Can tame the wanton day
      Of gems that in their bright shades play.
      Each ruby there,
      Or pearl that dare appear,
      Be its own blush, be its own tear.
      A well-tamed Heart,
      For whose more noble smart
      Love may be long choosing a dart.
      Eyes, that bestow
      Full quivers on love's bow,
      Yet pay less arrows than they owe.
      Smiles, that can warm
      The blood, yet teach a charm,
      That chastity shall take no harm.
      Blushes, that bin
      The burnish of no sin,
      Nor flames of aught too hot within.
      Joys, that confess
      Virtue their mistress,
      And have no other head to dress.
      Fears, fond and slight
      As the coy bride's, when night
      First does the longing lover right.
      Days, that need borrow
      No part of their good-morrow
      From a fore-spent night of sorrow.
      Days, that in spite
      Of darkness, by the light
      Of a clear mind, are day all night.
      Nights, sweep as they,
      Made short by lovers' play,
      Yet long by th' absence of the day.
      Life, that dares send
      A challenge to his end,
      And when it comes, say, 'Welcome, friend!'
      Sydneian showers
      Of sweet discourse, whose powers
      Can crown old Winter's head with flowers.
      Soft silken hours,
      Open suns, shady bowers;
      'Bove all, nothing within that lowers.
      Whate'er delight
      Can make Day's forehead bright,
      Or give down to the wings of Night.
      I wish her store
      Of worth may leave her poor
      Of wishes; and I wish--no more.
      Now, if Time knows
      That Her, whose radiant brows
      Weave them a garland of my vows;
      Her, whose just bays
      My future hopes can raise,
      A trophy to her present praise;
      Her, that dares be
      What these lines wish to see;
      I seek no further, it is She.
      'Tis She, and here,
      Lo! I unclothe and clear
      My Wishes' cloudy character.
      May she enjoy it
      Whose merit dare apply it,
      But modesty dares still deny it!
      Such worth as this is
      Shall fix my flying Wishes,
      And determine them to kisses.
      Let her full glory,
      My fancies, fly before ye;
      Be ye my fictions -- but her story.




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