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.
 
Madrigal: “My love in her attire doth show her wit”
Anonymous
 
MY 1 love in her attire doth show her wit,
    It doth so well become her:
For every season she hath dressings fit,
    For winter, spring, and summer.
    No beauty she doth miss,        5
    When all her robes are on:
    But Beauty’s self she is,
    When all her robes are gone.
 
Note 1. From Davison’s Poetical Rhapsody, 1602. Mr. Bullen (Rhapsody ii., p. 196) suggests the comparison of this poem to Clement Marot’s graceful verses:
  
De Madame Ysabeau de Navarre
Qui cuyderoit desguiser Ysabeau
D’un simple habit, ce seroit grand’ simplesse;
Car au visage a ne scay quoi de beau,
Qui faict juger tousjours qu’elle est princesse:
Soit en habit de chambriere ou maistresse,
Soit en drap d’or entier ou decouppé,
Soit son gent corps de toile enveloppé,
Tousjours sera sa beauté maintenue;
Mais il me semble (ou je suis bien trompé)
Qu’elle seroit plus belle toute nue.
“Mr. J. M. Thomson refers me to Aristænetus, Epistle I., and Plato’s ‘Charmides,’ p. 154 D.” (Bullen.) [back]
 
 
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