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Give me a look, give me a face,
That makes simplicity a grace;
Robes loosely flowing, hair as free:
Such sweet neglect more taketh me
Than all the adulteries of art;
They strike mine eyes, but not my heart.


(From "A Celebration of Charis ” in Underwoods, 1616) See the chariot at hand here of Love,

Wherein my Lady rideth!
Each that draws is a swan or a dove,

And well the car Love guideth.
As she goes, all hearts do duty

Unto her beauty;
And enamoured do wish, so they might

But enjoy such a sight,
That they still were to run by her side,
Through swords, through seas, whither she would


Do but look on her eyes, they do light

All that Love's world compriseth!
Do but look on her hair, it is bright

As Love's star when it riseth!
Do but mark, her forehead's smoother

Than words that soothe her;
And from her arched brows, such a grace

Sheds itself through the face,
As alone there triumphs to the life

All the gain, all the good of the elements' strife.

Have you seen but a bright lily grow

Before rude hands have touched it? Have you marked but the fall o' the snow

Before the soil hath smutched it?

Have you felt the wool of beaver?

Or swan's down ever?
Or have smelt o' the bud o' the briar?

Or the nard in the fire?
Or have tasted the bag of the bee?

O so white,–O so soft,-0 so sweet is she!


(From Cynthia's Revels, Act V. sc. 3, 1600)

Queen and huntress, chaste and fair,
Now the sun is laid to sleep;
Seated in thy silver chair,
State in wonted manner keep:

Hesperus entreats thy light,
Goddess excellently bright.

Earth, let not thy envious shade
Dare itself to interpose;
Cynthia's shining orb was made
Heaven to clear, when day did close;

Bless us then with wished sight,
Goddess excellently bright.

Lay thy bow of pearl apart,
And thy crystal-shining quiver;
Give unto the flying hart
Space to breathe, how short soever:

Thou that makest a day of night,
Goddess excellently bright.

Wiiliam Shakespeare


SILVIA (From The Tido Gentlemen of Verona, IV. 2, 1598 ; acted

about 1592–93)

Who is Silvia? what is she,

That all our swains commend her?
Holy, fair, and wise is she,

The heaven such grace did lend her,
That she might admired be.

Is she kind as she is fair?

For beauty lives with kindness:
Love doth to her eyes repair,

To help him of his blindness;
And, being help’d, inhabits there.

Then to Silvia let us sing,

That Silvia is excelling:
She excels each mortal thing,

Upon the dull earth dwelling:
To her let us garlands bring.


(From As You Like It, II. 5, acted 1599)
Under the greenwood tree
Who loves to lie with me,
And turn his merry note
Unto the sweet bird's throat,

Come hither, come hither, come hither:
Here shall he see

No enemy
But winter and rough weather.

Who doth ambition shun
And loves to live i’ the sun,
Seeking the food he eats

And pleas'd with what he gets,
Come hither, come hither, come hither:

Here shall he see

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(From Twelfth Night, II. 3, about 1601)
O mistress mine, where are you roaming?
O, stay and hear; your true love's coming,

That can sing both high and low:
Trip no further, pretty sweeting;
Journeys end in lovers' meeting,

Every wise man's son doth know.
What is love? 'Tis not hereafter:
Present mirth hath present laughter;

What's to come is still unsúre:
In delay there lies no plenty;
Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty,

Youth's a stuff will not endure.


(From Measure for Measure, IV. 1, 1603)
Take, oh take those lips away,

That so sweetly were forsworn;
And those eyes, the break of day,

Lights that do mislead the morn;
5 But my kisses bring again,

bring again. Seals of love, but seald in vain,

seal'd in vain.


(From Cymbeline, II. 3, 1609)

Hark! hark! the lark at heaven's gate sings,

And Phoebus ’gins arise,
His steeds to water at those springs

On chalic'd flowers that lies;
And winking Mary-buds begin to ope their golden eyes;
With everything that pretty is—My lady sweet, arise:

Arise, arise.


(From the same, IV. 2)

Fear no more the heat of the sun

Nor the furious winter's rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,

Home art gone, and ta’en thy wages:
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.

Fear no more the frown o' the great,

Thou art past the tyrants' stroke; Care no more to clothe, and eat;

To thee the reed is as the oak: The sceptre, learning, physic, must All follow this, and come to dust.

Fear no more the light'ning flash;
Nor the all-dreaded thunder-stone;
Fear not slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finished joy and moan:
All lovers young, all lovers must
Consign to thee, and come to dust.

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