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PAGE 2

An Hymne In Honour Of Beautie
by [?]

Why doe not then the blossomes of the field,
Which are arayd with much more orient hew,
And to the sense most daintie odours yield,
Worke like impression in the lookers vew?
Or why doe not faire pictures like powre shew,
In which oft-times we Nature see of Art
Exceld, in perfect limming every part?

But ah! beleeve me there is more then so,
That workes such wonders in the minds of men;
I, that have often prov’d, too well it know,
And who so list the like assayes to ken
Shall find by trial, and confesse it then,
That Beautie is not, as fond men misdeeme,
An outward shew of things that onely seeme.

For that same goodly hew of white and red
With which the cheekes are sprinckled, shall decay,
And those sweete rosy leaves, so fairly spred
Upon the lips, shall fade and fall away
To that they were, even to corrupted clay:
That golden wyre, those sparckling stars so bright,
Shall turne to dust, and lose their goodly light.

But that faire lampe, from whose celestiall ray
That light proceedes which kindleth lovers fire,
Shall never be extinguisht nor decay;
But, when the vitall spirits doe espyre,
Unto her native planet shall retyre;
For it is heavenly borne, and cannot die,
Being a parcell of the purest skie.

For when the soule, the which derived was,
At first, out of that great immortall Spright,
By whom all live to love, whilome did pas
Down from the top of purest heavens hight
To be embodied here, it then tooke light
And lively spirits from that fayrest starre
Which lights the world forth from his firie carre.

Which powre retayning still, or more or lesse,
When she in fleshly seede is eft* enraced**,
Through every part she doth the same impresse,
According as the heavens have her graced,
And frames her house, in which she will be placed,
Fit for her selfe, adorning it with spoyle
Of th’heavenly riches which she robd erewhyle.
[* Eft, afterwards.]
[** Enraced, implanted.]

Thereof it comes that these faire soules which have
The most resemblance of that heavenly light
Frame to themselves most beautifull and brave
Their fleshly bowre, most fit for their delight,
And the grosse matter by a soveraine might
Temper so trim, that it may well be seene
A pallace fit for such a virgin queene.

So every spirit, as it is most pure,
And hath in it the more of heavenly light,
So it the fairer bodie doth procure
To habit in, and it more fairely dight*
With chearfull grace and amiable sight:
For of the soule the bodie forme doth take;
For soule is forme, and doth the bodie make.
[* Dight, adorn.]

Therefore, where-ever that thou doest behold
A comely corpse*, with beautie faire endewed,
Know this for certaine, that the same doth hold
A beauteous soule with fair conditions thewed**,
Fit to receive the seede of vertue strewed;
For all that faire is, is by nature good;
That is a sign to know the gentle blood.
[* Corpse, body.]
[** i.e. endowed with fair qualities.]

Yet oft it falles that many a gentle mynd
Dwels in deformed tabernacle drownd,
Either by chaunce, against the course of kynd*,
Or through unaptnesse in the substance fownd,
Which it assumed of some stubborne grownd,
That will not yield unto her formes direction,
But is deform’d with some foule imperfection.
[* Kynd, nature.]

And oft it falles, (ay me, the more to rew!)
That goodly Beautie, albe heavenly borne,
Is foule abusd, and that celestiall hew,
Which doth the world with her delight adorne,
Made but the bait of sinne, and sinners scorne,
Whilest every one doth seeke and sew to have it,
But every one doth seeke but to deprave it.