A Description Poem by Lord Edward Herbert of Cherbury

A Description

I SING her worth and praises, I,
Of whom a Poet cannot lie.
The little World the Great shall blaze,
Sea, Earth, her Body ; Heaven, her Face,
Her Hair, Sunbeams, whofe every part
Lightens, inflames each Lover's Heart,
That thus you prove the Axiom true,
Whilst the Sun helped Nature in you.
Her Front, the white and azure sky
In Light and Glory raised high,
Being o'recast by a cloudy frown.
All Hearts and Eyes dejecteth down ;
Her each Brow, a celestial Bow
Which through this Sky her Light doth show.
Which doubled, if it strange appear
The Sun's likewise is doubled there;
Her either Cheek, a blushing Morn,
Which, on the Wings of Beauty born.
Doth never fet, but only fair
Shineth exalted in her hair ;
Within her Mouth Heaven's Heav'n reside;
Her words the souls there Glorifi'd ;
Her Nose, th'Æquator of this Globe,
Where Nakedness, Beauty's best Robe,
Presents a form all Hearts to win.
Last Nature made that Dainty Chin,
Which that it might in every fashion
Answer the rest, a Constellation
Like to a Desk, She there did place
To write the Wonders of her Face.
In this Coelestial Frontispiece,
Where Happiness eternal lies,
First arranged stand three Senses,—
This Heaven's Intelligences,
Whose several Motions sweet combined
Come from the first Mover, her Mind.
The weight of this Harmonique Sphere
The Atlas of her Neck doth bear,
Whose favours Day to Us imparts
When Frowns make Night in Lovers' Hearts.
Two foaming Billows are her Breasts,
That carry rais'd upon their Crests
The Tyrian Fish : More white's their Foam
Then that whence Venus once did come.
Here take her by the Hand, my Muse,
With that Sweet Foe, to make my Truce.
To compact Manna best compar'd,
Whose dewy inside's not full hard.
Her Waist's an envers'd Pyramis
Upon whose Cone Love's Trophy is.
Her Belly is that Magazine
At whose peep Nature did resigne
That precious Mould by which alone
There can be framed such a One :
At th' entrance of which hidden Treasure,
Happy making above meassure.
Two Alabaster Pillars stand,
To warn all passage from that Land,
At foot whereof engraved is
The sad Non Ultra of Man's Bliss.
The back of this most pretious Frame
Holds up in Majesty the Same;
Where to make Music to all Hearts
Love bound the descant of her parts.
Though all this Beauty's Temple be
There's known within no Deity
Save Virtues shrin'd within her Will.
As I began, fo say I still,
I sing her Worth and Praises, I,
Of whom a Poet cannot lie.

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