WHAT shepherd can express
The favour of her face ?
To whom in this distress
I do appeal for grace ;
      A thousand cupids fly
      About her gentle eye ;

From which each throws a dart
That kindleth soft sweet fire
Within my sighing heart ;
Possessed by desire
      No sweeter life I try
      Than in her love to die.

The lily in the field
That glories in his white,
For pureness now must yield
And render up his right.
      Heaven pictur'd in her face
      Doth promise joy and grace.

Fair Cynthia's silver light
That beats on running streams,
Compares not with her white,
Whose hairs are all sunbeams.
      So bright my nymph doth shine
      As day unto my eyne.

With this there is a red,
Exceeds the damask rose :
Which in her cheeks is spread
Where every favour grows ;
      In sky there is no star
      But she surmounts it far.

When Phoebus from his bed
Of Thetis doth arise,
The morning blushing red,
In fair carnation wise ;
      He shows in my nymph's face,
      As queen of every grace.

This pleasant lily-white,
This taint of roseate red,
This Cynthia's silver light,
This sweet fair Dea spread,
      These sunbeams in mine eye,
      These beauties make me die.

The Poets of the Elizabethan Age.
London: Sampson Low, Son, & Co., 1862. 29-30.

Backto the Works of Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford

Site copyright ©1996-2007 Anniina Jokinen. All Rights Reserved.
Created by Anniina Jokinen on September 27, 2002.