Abraham Cowley

(1618 – 28 July 1667 / London)

Not Fair - Poem by Abraham Cowley

'T IS very true, I thought you once as fair
As women in th' idea are;*
Whatever here seems beauteous, seem'd to be
But a faint metaphor of thee:
But then, methoughts, there something shin'd within,
Which casts this lustre o'er thy skin;
Nor could I choose but count it the sun's light,
Which made this cloud appear so bright.
But, since I knew thy falsehood and thy pride,
And all thy thousand faults beside,
A very Moor, methinks, plac'd near to thee,
White as his teeth would seem to be.
So men (they say) by hell's delusions led,
Have ta'en a succubus to their bed;
Believe it fair, and themselves happy call,
Till the cleft foot discovers all:
Then they start from 't, half ghosts themselves with fear;
And devil, as 't is, doth appear.
So, since against my will I found thee foul,
Deform'd and crooked in thy soul,
My reason straight did to my senses shew,
That they might be mistaken too:
Nay, when the world but knows how false you are,
There's not a man will think you fair;
Thy shape will monstrous in their fancies be,
They'll call their eyes as false as thee.
Be what thou wilt, hate will present thee so,
As Puritans do the Pope, and Papists Luther do.

Comments about Not Fair by Abraham Cowley

There is no comment submitted by members..

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Poem Submitted: Monday, February 24, 2014

Poem Edited: Monday, February 24, 2014

Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  9. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe
[Report Error]