George Herbert


I JOY, deare Mother, when I view
Thy perfect lineaments, and hue
                        Both sweet and bright :

Beautie in thee takes up her place,
And dates her letters from thy face,
                        When she doth write.

A fine aspect in fit aray,
Neither too mean, nor yet too gay,
                        Shows who is best :

Outlandish looks may not compare ;
For all they either painted are,
                        Or else undrest.

She on the hills, which wantonly
Allureth all in hope to be
                        By her preferr’d,

Hath kiss’d so long her painted shrines,
That ev’n her face by kissing shines,
                        For her reward.

She in the valley is so shie
Of dressing, that her hair doth lie
                        About her eares :

While she avoids her neighbours pride,
She wholly goes on th’ other side,
                        And nothing wears.

But, dearest Mother, (what those misse)
The mean thy praise and glorie is,
                        And long may be.

Blessed be God, whose love it was
To double-moat thee with his grace,
                        And none but thee.


Herbert, George. The Poetical Works of George Herbert.
New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1857. 138-139.

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