Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. II. Ben Jonson to Dryden
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. II. The Seventeenth Century: Ben Jonson to Dryden
 
On His Mistress, the Queen of Bohemia
By Sir Henry Wotton (1568–1639)
 
YOU meaner beauties of the night,
  That poorly satisfy our eyes
More by your number than your light;
  You common people of the skies;
  What are you when the moon shall rise?        5
 
You curious chanters of the wood,
  That warble forth Dame Nature’s lays,
Thinking your passions understood
  By your weak accents; what ’s your praise,
  When Philomel her voice shall raise?        10
 
You violets that first appear,
  By your pure purple mantles known
Like the proud virgins of the year,
  As if the spring were all your own;
  What are you when the rose is blown?        15
 
So, when my mistress shall be seen
  In form and beauty of her mind,
By virtue first, then choice, a Queen,
  Tell me if she were not designed
  The eclipse and glory of her kind?        20
 
 
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