Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Restoration Verse
William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Restoration Verse.  1910.
Upon Black Eyes and Becoming Frowns
By James Howell (c. 1594–1666)
  BLACK eyes! in your dark orbs do lie
My ill, or happy, destiny;
If with clear looks you me behold,
You give me mines and mounts of gold;
If you dart forth disdainful rays,        5
To your own dye you turn my days.
  Black eyes, in your dark orbs, by changes dwell,
  My bane or bliss, my paradise or hell.
  That lamp, which all the stars doth blind,
Yields to your lustre, in some kind;        10
Though you do wear, to make you bright,
No other dress but that of night;
He glitters only in the day;
You, in the dark, your beams display.
  Black eyes, in your dark orbs, etc.
  The cunning thief that lurks for prize,        15
At some dark corner watching lies:
So that heart-robbing god doth stand
In your black lobbies, shaft in hand,
To rifle me of what I hold
More precious far than Indian gold.
  Black eyes, in your dark orbs, etc.
  O powerful negromantic eyes!
Who in your circles strictly pries,
Will find that Cupid with his dart,
In youth doth practise the black art;
And, by those spells I am possest,        25
Tries his conclusions in my breast.
  Black eyes, in your dark orbs, etc.
  Look on me, though in frowning wise;
Some kinds of frowns become Black Eyes;
As pointed diamonds, being set,
Cast greater lustre out of jet?        30
Those pieces we esteem most rare,
Which in night-shadows postured are;
Darkness in churches congregates the sight;
Devotion strays in glaring light.
  Black eyes, in your dark orbs, by changes dwell,        35
  My bane or bliss, my paradise or hell.

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