Sonnet of Black Beauty

by Edward, Lord Herbert of Chirbury

Black beauty, which above that common light,
    Whose Power can no colours here renew,
    But those which darkness can again subdue,
Do'st still remain unvary'd to the sight.

And like an object equal to the view,
    And neither chang'd with day, nor hid with night,
    When all these colours which the world call bright,
And which old Poetry doth so persue,

Are with the night so perished and gone,
    That of their being there remains no mark,
Thou still abidest so intirely one,
    That we may know thy blackness is a spark
Of light inaccessible, and alone
    Our darkness which can make us think it dark.

Transcribed and coded by Anniina Jokinen from the Scolar Press
Facsimile of Occasional Verses of Edward Lord Herbert (1665)
Bodleian Library. Shelf-mark: Bliss. A.98. Wing H1508.
Transcription and code copyright ©2002 Anniina Jokinen.

to Lord Herbert

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