Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. II. Love
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume II. Love.  1904.
 
I. Admiration
To a Lady admiring Herself in a Looking-Glass
Thomas Randolph (1605–1635)
 
FAIR lady, when you see the grace
Of beauty in your looking-glass;
A stately forehead, smooth and high,
And full of princely majesty;
A sparkling eye no gem so fair,        5
Whose lustre dims the Cyprian star;
A glorious cheek, divinely sweet,
Wherein both roses kindly meet;
A cherry lip that would entice
Even gods to kiss at any price;        10
You think no beauty is so rare
That with your shadow might compare;
That your reflection is alone
The thing that men most dote upon.
Madam, alas! your glass doth lie,        15
And you are much deceived; for I
A beauty know of richer grace
(Sweet, be not angry), ’t is your face.
Hence, then, O, learn more mild to be,
And leave to lay your blame on me:        20
If me your real substance move,
When you so much your shadow love,
Wise nature would not let your eye
Look on her own bright majesty;
Which, had you once but gazed upon,        25
You could, except yourself, love none:
What then you cannot love, let me,
That face I can, you cannot see.
  Now you have what to love, you ’ll say,
What then is left for me, I pray?        30
My face, sweet heart, if it please thee;
That which you can, I cannot see,
So either love shall gain his due,
Yours, sweet, in me, and mine in you.
 
 
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