Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
 
Doron’s Description of Samela
By Robert Greene (1558–1592)
 
LIKE 1 to Diana in her summer weed,
  Girt with a crimson robe of brightest dye,
          Goes fair Samela;
Whiter than be the flocks that straggling feed,
  When washed by Arethusa Fount 2 they lie,        5
          Is fair Samela;
 
As fair Aurora in her morning-grey,
  Decked with the ruddy glister of her love,
          Is fair Samela;
Like lovely Thetis on a calmèd day,        10
  Whenas her brightness Neptune’s fancy move,
          Shines fair Samela;
 
Her tresses gold, her eyes like glassy streams,
  Her teeth are pearl, the breasts are ivory
          Of fair Samela;        15
Her cheeks like rose and lily yield forth gleams;
  Her brow’s bright arches framed of ebony:
          Thus fair Samela
 
Passeth fair Venus in her bravest hue,
  And Juno in the shadow of majesty,        20
          For she’s Samela;
Pallas in wit,—all three, if you will view,
  For beauty, wit, and matchless dignity,
          Yield to Samela.
 
Note 1. From Greene’s romance, Menaphon, 1589, “What manner of woman is she?” quoth Melicertus. “As well as I can,” answered Doron, “I will make description of her: Like to Diana,” etc. “Thou hast,” quoth Melicertus, “made such a description as if Priamus’ young boy should paint out the perfection of his Greekish paramour.” [back]
Note 2. Arethusa Fount: Walker’s reading in the original edition is Arethusa faint. [back]
 
 
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