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.
 
Laura
By Thomas Campion (1567–1620)
 
  ROSE-CHEEK’D 1 Laura, come;
Sing thou smoothly with thy beauty’s
Silent music, either other
    Sweetly gracing.
 
  Lovely forms do flow        5
From concent divinely framèd:
Heaven is music, and thy beauty’s
    Birth is heavenly.
 
  These dull notes we sing
Discords need for helps to grace them;        10
Only beauty purely loving
    Knows no discord;
 
  But still moves delight,
Like clear springs renew’d by flowing,
Ever perfect, ever in them-        15
    Selves eternal.
 
Note 1. “In 1602 appeared Thomas Campion’s Observation in the Art of English Poetry, the famous pamphlet in which this graceful Elizabethan rimer advocated a return to classical quantitative verse. He illustrated his proposed rhythms with original experiments, which in all but one case are no less unhappy than most quantitative poems in English. The one exception, however, illustrating a trochaic strophe, deserves to be quoted as an example, not only of graceful melody, but of perfect lyrical form. The motive—Laura’s beauty—is introduced in the first words, developed through an Elizabethan ‘conceit’ of human beauty in general, and closed with a philosophic contemplation of perfect beauty in the abstract.” (John Erskine: The Elizabethan Lyric, ed. 1905.) See also Observations in the art of English Poesy, p. 258, Bullen’s ed. of Campion’s Works, 1903. [back]
 
 
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