4 But when the bright sun did appear,
All those he ’gan despise;
His wonder was determined there,
And could no higher rise;
He neither might, nor wished to know
A more refulgent light;
For that (as mine your beauties now)
Employ’d his utmost sight.
Darkness, which fairest nymphs disarms,
Defends us ill from Mira’s charms;
Mira can lay her beauty by,
Take no advantage of the eye,
Quit all that Lely’s art can take,
And yet a thousand captives make.
Her speech is graced with sweeter sound
Than in another’s song is found!
And all her well-placed words are darts,
Which need no light to reach our hearts. 10
As the bright stars and Milky Way,
Show’d by the night, are hid by day;
So we, in that accomplish’d mind,
Help’d by the night, new graces find,
Which, by the splendour of her view,
Dazzled before, we never knew.
While we converse with her, we mark
No want of day, nor think it dark;
Her shining image is a light
Fix’d in our hearts, and conquers night. 20
Like jewels to advantage set,
Her beauty by the shade does get;
There blushes, frowns, and cold disdain,
All that our passion might restrain,
Is hid, and our indulgent mind
Presents the fair idea kind.
Yet, friended by the night, we dare
Only in whispers tell our care;
He that on her his bold hand lays,
With Cupid’s pointed arrows plays; 30
They with a touch (they are so keen!)
Wound us unshot, and she unseen.
All near approaches threaten death;
We may be shipwreck’d by her breath;
Love, favour’d once with that sweet gale,
Doubles his haste, and fills his sail,
Till he arrive where she must prove
The haven, or the rock, of love.
So we th’Arabian coast do know
At distance, when the spices blow; 40
By the rich odour taught to steer,
Though neither day nor stars appear.
As gather’d flowers, while their wounds are
Look gay and fresh, as on the stalk they grew;
Torn from the root that nourish’d them, awhile
(Not taking notice of their fate) they smile,
And, in the hand which rudely pluck’d them, show
Fairer than those that to their autumn grow;
So love and beauty still that visage grace;
Death cannot fright them from their wonted place.
Alive, the hand of crooked Age had marr’d,
Those lovely features which cold Death has spared.
No wonder then he sped in love so well,
When his high passion he had breath to tell;
When that accomplish’d soul, in this fair frame,
No business had but to persuade that dame,
Whose mutual love advanced the youth so high,
That, but to heaven, he could no higher fly.