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.
 
A Renunciation
By Thomas Campion (1567–1620)
 
THOU 1 art not fair, for all thy red and white,
  For all those rosy ornaments in thee;
Thou art not sweet, tho’ made of mere delight,
  Nor fair, nor sweet—unless thou pity me.
I will not soothe thy fancies: thou shalt prove        5
That beauty is no beauty without love.
 
Yet love not me, nor seek thou to allure
  My thoughts with beauty, were it more divine;
Thy smiles and kisses I cannot endure,
  I’ll not be wrapp’d up in those arms of thine:        10
Now show it, if thou be a woman right,—
Embrace and kiss and love me in despite.
 
Note 1. From Campion and Rosseter’s Book of Airs, 1601. There are two other versions of this poem which have been erroneously attributed to Donne and to Joshua Sylvester, in Harley MS., 6910, fol. 150.

  Thou shalt not love me, neither shall these eyes
Shine on my soul shrouded in deadly night;
Thou shalt not breathe on me thy spiceries,
Nor rock me in thy quavers of delight.
Hold off thy hands; for I had rather die
Than have my life by thy coy touch reprieved.
Smile not on me, but frown thou bitterly:
Slay me outright, no lovers are long lived.
As for those lips reserved so much in store,
Their rosy verdure shall not meet with mine.
Withhold thy proud embracements evermore:
I’ll not be swaddled in those arms of thine.
Now show it if thou be a woman right,—
Embrace and kiss and love me in despight.
  
Beauty without Love Deformity
Thou are not fair for all thy red and white,
For all those rosy temperatures in thee;
Thou art not sweet, though made of mere delight,
Nor fair nor sweet unless thou pity me.
Thine eyes are black, and yet their glittering brightness
Can night enlumine in her darkest den;
Thy hands are bloody, though contrived of whiteness,
Both black and bloody, if they murder men;
Thy brows, whereon my good hap doth depend,
Fairer than snow or lily in the spring;
Thy tongue which saves (?) at every sweet word’s end,
That hard as marble, this a mortal sting;
I will not soothe thy follies, thou shalt prove
That Beauty is no Beauty without Love.
 
 
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