Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. II. Ben Jonson to Dryden
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. II. The Seventeenth Century: Ben Jonson to Dryden
Extracts from Britannia’s Pastorals: A Colour Passage
By William Browne (c. 1590–c. 1645)
Book II. Song 3.

AS in the rainbow’s many-coloured hue,
Here see we watchet deepened with a blue;
There a dark tawny with a purple mixt,
Yellow and flame, with streaks of green betwixt,
A bloody stream into a blushing run,        5
And ends still with the colour which begun;
Drawing the deeper to a lighter stain,
Bringing the lightest to the deep’st again,
With such rare art each mingleth with his fellow,
The blue with watchet, green and red with yellow;        10
Like to the changes which we daily see
About the dove’s neck with variety,
Where none can say, though he it strict attends,
Here one begins, and there the other ends:
So did the maidens with their various flowers        15
Deck up their windows, and make neat their bowers;
Using such cunning as they did dispose
The ruddy piny with the lighter rose,
The monk’s-hoods with the bugloss, and entwine
The white, the blue, the flesh-like columbine        20
With pinks, sweet-williams: that far off the eye
Could not the manner of their mixtures spy.

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