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
 
To Castara. Of True Delight
By William Habington (1605–1654)
 
WHY doth the ear so tempt the voice
That cunningly divides the air?
Why doth the palate buy the choice
Delights o’ th’ sea, to enrich her fare?
 
As soon as I my ear obey,        5
The echo ’s lost even with the breath;
And when the sewer takes away,
I ’m left with no more taste than death.
 
Be curious in pursuit of eyes
To procreate new loves with thine;        10
Satiety makes sense despise
What superstition thought divine.
 
Quick fancy! how it mocks delight!
As we conceive, things are not such;
The glowworm is as warm as bright,        15
Till the deceitful flame we touch.
 
When I have sold my heart to lust,
And bought repentance with a kiss;
I find the malice of my dust,
That told me hell contained a bliss.        20
 
The rose yields her sweet blandishment
Lost in the fold of lovers’ wreaths;
The violet enchants the scent,
When early in the spring she breathes.
 
But winter comes, and makes each flower        25
Shrink from the pillow where it grows;
Or an intruding cold hath power
To scorn the perfume of the rose.
 
Our senses, like false glasses, show
Smooth beauty, where brows wrinkled are,        30
And makes the cozen’d fancy glow;
Chaste virtue ’s only true and fair.
 
 
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