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What Cunning Can Express

What cunning can express
The favor of her face
To whom in this distress
I do appeal for grace?
A thousand Cupids fly
About her gentle eye.
From whence each throws a dart
That kindleth soft sweet fire
Within my sighing heart,
Possessèd by desire.
No sweeter life I try
Than in her love to die.
The lily in the field
That glories in his white,
For pureness now must yield
And render up his right.
Heaven pictured in her face
Doth promise joy and grace.
Fair Cynthia’s silver light
That beats on running streams
Compares not with her white,
Whose hairs are all sunbeams.
Her virtues so do shine
As day unto mine eyne.
With this there is a red
Exceeds the damask rose,
Which in her cheeks is spread,
Whence every favor grows.
In sky there is no star
That she surmounts not far.
When Phoebus from the bed
Of Thetis doth arise,
The morning blushing red
In fair carnation wise,
He shows it in her face
As queen of every grace.
This pleasant lily-white,
This taint of roseate red,
This Cynthia’s silver light,
This sweet fair Dea spread,
These sunbeams in mine eye,
These beauties make me die!

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What Cunning Can Express - EDWARD DE VERE