To a Lady who did sing excellently

by Edward, Lord Herbert of Chirbury

WHEN our rude and unfashion'd words, that long
    A being in their elements enjoy'd,
                Senseless and void,
Come at last to be formed by thy tongue,
    And from thy breath receive that life and place,
                And perfect grace,
That now thy power diffus'd through all their parts
                Are able to remove
All the obstructions of the hardest hearts,
    And teach the most unwilling how to love ;

When they again, exalted by thy voice,
    Tun'd by thy soul, dismiss'd into the air,
                To us repair,
A living, moving, and harmonious noise,
    Able to give the love they do create
                A second state,
And charm not only all his griefs away,
                And his defects restore,
But make him perfect, who the Poets say,
    Made all was ever yet made heretofore ;

When again all these rare perfections meet,
    Composed in the circle of thy face,
                As in their place,
So to make up of all one perfect sweet,
    Who is not then so ravish'd with delight
                Ev'n of thy sight,
That he can be assur'd his sense is true,
                Or that he die, or live,
Or that he do enjoy himself, or you,
    Or only the delights, which you did give ?

The Oxford Book of Seventeenth Century Verse.
H. J. C. Grierson and G. Bullough, eds.
Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1934. 230-231.

to Lord Herbert

Site copyright ©1996-2001 Anniina Jokinen. All rights reserved.
Created by Anniina Jokinen on June 25, 2001.

Background by the kind permission of Roger Hamstra's Silk Purse Graphics.