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Poem by Francis Beaumont
On the Marriage of a Beauteous Young Gentlewoman with an Ancient Man
Fondly, too curious Nature, to adorn Aurora with the blushes of the morn: Why do her rosy lips breath gums and spice; Unto the East, and sweet to Paradise? Why do her eyes open the day? her hand And voice intrance the panther, and command Incensed winds; her breasts, the tents of love, Smooth as the godded swan, or Venus' dove; Soft as the balmy dew whose every touch Is pregnant; but why those rich spoils, when such Wonder and perfection must be led A bridal captive unto Tithon's bed? Ag'd, and deformed Tithon! must thy twine Circle and blast at once what care and time Had made for wonder? must pure beauty have No other foil but ruin and a grave? So have I seen the pride of Nature's store, The orient pearl chained to the sooty Moor; So hath the diamond's bright ray been set In night, and wedded to the negro jet. See, see, how thick those showers of pearl do fall To weep her ransom, or her funeral, Whose every treasured drop, congealed, might bring, Freedom and ransom to a fettered kin, While tyrant Wealth stands by, and laughs to see How he can wed love and antipathy. Hymen, thy pine burns with adulterate fire; Thou and thy quivered boy did once conspire To mingle equal flames, and then no shine Of gold, but beauty, dressed the Paphian shrine; Roses and lilies kiss'd; the amorous vine Did with the fair and straight-limb'd elm entwine.
Francis Beaumont's other poems:
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