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.
 
Beauty Clear and Fair
By John Fletcher (1579–1625)
 
BEAUTY 1 clear and fair,
    Where the air
Rather like a perfume dwells;
  Where the violet and the rose
  Their blue veins and 2 blush disclose,        5
And come to honour nothing else:
 
Where to live near
    And planted there
Is to live, and still live new;
  Where to gain a favour is        10
  More than life, 3 perpetual bliss,—
Make me live by serving you!
 
Dear, again back recall 4
    To this light,
A stranger to himself and all!        15
  Both the wonder and the story
  Shall be yours, and eke the glory;
I am your servant, and your thrall. 5
 
Note 1. From The Elder Brother, 1637, act iii. sc. 5. [back]
Note 2. Their blue veins and: the reading of and here instead of in, as retained by Dyce, is from the MS., which “happily puts an end to the nonsense which has been written concerning this passage.” (W. W. Greg. Variorum Ed. Beaumont and Fletcher, Vol. II.) [back]
Note 3. More than light: the emendation here is by Dyce, the MS. reads life. [back]
Note 4. Back recall: recite (meaning call back). Fleay. (W. W. Greg.) [back]
Note 5. Shall be yours … and your thrall; The MS. reads: Shall be yours still, and the glory, I your servant, etc. “Here again the divergence points clearly to an intentional alteration.” (W. W. Greg.) [back]
 
 
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