By John Donne
, and love thy Flavia, for her
Hath all things, whereby others beauteous be;
For, thought her eyes
be small, her mouth is great;
Though they be ivory
, yet her teeth be jet;
Thought they be dim, yet she is light enough;
And though her harsh hair fall, her skin is tough;
What though her cheeks
be yellow, her hair's red,
Give her thine, and she hath a maidenhead
These things are beauty's elements; where these
Meet in one, that one must, as perfect, please.
If red and white, and each good quality
Be in thy wench, ne'er ask where it doth lie.
In buying things perfumed
, we ask, if there
Be musk and amber in it, but not where.
Though all her parts be not in th' usual place,
She hath yet an anagram
of a good face.
If we might put the letters but one way,
In that lean dearth of words, what could we say?
When by the gamut some musicians
A perfect song, others will undertake,
By the same gamut changed, to equal it.
Things simply good
can never be unfit;
She's fair as any, if all be like her;
And if none be, then she is singular
All love is wonder; if we justly do
Account her wonderful, why not lovely too?
Love built on beauty
, soon as beauty, dies;
Choose this face, changed by no deformities.
Women are all like angels
; the fair be
Like those which feel to worse; but such as she,
Like to good angels, nothing can impair:
'Tis less grief to be foul, than to have been fair.
For one night's revels, silk
and gold we chooose,
But in long journeys, cloth
and leather use.
Beauty is barren oft; best husbands
There is best land, where there is foulest way.
Oh, what a sovereign plaster will she be,
If thy past sins have taught thee jealousy!
Here needs no spies, nor eunuchs
; her commit
Safe to thy foes, yea, to a marmoset
When Belgia's cities the round country drowns,
So doth her face guard her; and so for thee,
Which forced by business
, absent oft must be,
She, whose face, like clouds
, turns the day to night
Who, mightier than the sea, makes Moors seem white;
Who, though seven years she in the stews had laid,
A nunnery durst recieve, and think a maid;
And though in childbed
's labour did she lie,
Midwives would swear 'twere byt a tympany;
Whom, if she accuse herself
, I credit less
Thatn witches, which impossibles confess;
One like none, and liked of none, fittest were;
For things in fashion
every man will wear.