[The Court of the Temple, Jerusalem, Model]from The Temple (1633), by George Herbert:


¶   Dulnesse.

VVHy do I languish thus, drooping and dull,
                        As if I were all earth?
O give me quicknesse, that I may with mirth
                                          Praise thee brim-full!

The wanton lover in a curious strain
                        Can praise his fairest fair;
And with quaint metaphors her curled hair
                                          Curl o’re again.

Thou art my lovelinesse, my life, my light,
                        Beautie alone to me:
Thy bloudy death and undeserv’d, makes thee
                                          Pure red and white.

When all perfections as but one appeare,
                        That those thy form doth show,
The very dust, where thou dost tread and go,
                                          Makes beauties here;

Where are my lines then? my approaches? views?
                        Where are my window-songs?
Lovers are still pretending, & ev’n wrongs
                                          Sharpen their Muse:

But I am lost in flesh, whose sugred lyes
                        Still mock me, and grow bold:
Sure thou didst put a minde there, if I could
                                          Finde there it lies.

Lord, cleare thy gift, that with a constant wit
                        I may but look towards thee:
Look onely; for to love thee, who can be,
                                         What angel fit?

Teachers Note: In the conventions of Elizabethan love poetry, the lover wrote and sang songs outside the loved one's window. He spoke of her as "red and white," red lips and white skin, the ideal beauty, as we might say "peaches and cream complexion."

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