Edward, Lord Herbert of Cherbury (1583-1648)

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Sonnet of Black Beauty

Black beauty, which above that common light,
Whose Power can no colours here renew
But those which darkness can again subdue,
Do'st still remain unvary'd to the sight,

And like an object equal to the view,
Art neither chang'd with day, nor hid with night
When all these colours which the world call bright,
And which old Poetry doth so persue,

Are with the night so perished and gone,
That of their being there remains no mark,
Thou still abidest so intirely one,
That we may know thy blackness is a spark
Of light inaccessible, and alone
Our darkness which can make us think it dark.

Another Sonnet to Black Itself

Thou Black, wherein all colours are compos'd,
And unto which they all at last return,
Thou colour of the Sun where it doth burn,
And shadow, where it cools, in thee is clos'd
Whatever nature can, or hath dispos'd
In any other Hue: from thee do rise
Those tempers and complexions, which disclos'd,
As parts of thee, do work as mysteries,
Of that thy hidden power; when thou dost reign
The characters of fate shine in the Skies,
And tell us what the Heavens do ordain,
But when Earth's common light shines to our eyes,
Thou so retir'st thyself, that thy disdain
All revelation unto Man denies.

To Her Face

Fatal Aspect! that hast an Influence
More powerful far than those Immortal Fires
That but incline the Will and move the Sense,
Which thou alone contrain'st, kindling Desires
Of such an holy force, as more inspires
The Soul with Knowledge, than Experience
Or Revelation can do with all
Their borrow'd helps: Sacred Astonishment
Sits on thy Brow, threatning a sudden fall
To all those Thoughts that are not lowly sent,
In wonder and amaze, dazling that Eye
Which on those Mysteries doth rudely gaze,
Vow'd only unto Love's Divinity:
Sure Adam sinn'd not in that spotless Face.

To Her Body

Regardful Pretence! whose fix'd Majesty
Darts Admiration on the gazing Look,
That brings it not: State sits inthron'd in thee,
Divulging forth her Laws in the fair Book
Of thy Commandements, which none mistook,
That ever humbly came therein to see
Their own unworthiness: Oh! how can I
Enough admire that Symmetry, exprest
In new proportions, which doth give the Lie
To that Arithmetique which hath profest
All Numbers to be Hers? thy Harmony
Comes from the Spheres, and there doth prove
Strange measures so well grac'd, as Majesty
Itself, like thee would rest, like thee would move.

To Her Mind

Exalted Mind! whose Character doth bear
The first Idea of Perfection, whence
Adam's came, and stands so, how canst appear
In words? that only tell what here-
Tofore hath been; thou need'st as deep a sense
As prophecy, since there's no difference
In telling what thou art, and what shall be:
Then pardon me that Rapture do profess,
At thy outside, that want, for what I see,
Description, if here amaz'd I cesse
            Yet grant one Question, and no more, crav'd under
Thy gracious leave, How, if thou would'st express
Thyself to us, thou should'st be still a wonder?

Love's End

Thus ends my Love, but this doth grieve me most,
That so it ends, but that ends too, this yet,
Besides the Wishes, hopes and time I lost,
Troubles my mind awhile, that I am set
Free, worse then denied: I can neither boast
Choice nor success, as my Case is, nor get
Pardon from myself; that I loved not
A better Mistress, or her worse; this Debt
Only's her due, still, that she be forgot
Ere chang'd, lest I love none; this done, the taint
Of foul Inconstancy is clear'd at least
In me, there only rests but to unpaint
Her form in my mind, that so dispossest
It be a Temple, but without a Saint.

Epitaph of King James

Here lies King James, who did so propagate
Unto the World that blest and quiet state
Wherein his Subjects liv'd, he seem'd to give
That peace which Christ did leave, and so did live,
As once that King and Shepherd of his Sheep,
That whom God saved, here he seem'd to keep,
Till with that innocent and single heart
With which he first was crown'd, he did depart
To better life Great Brittain to lament,
That Strangers more then thou may yet resent
The sad effects, and while they feel the harm
They must endure from the victorious arm
Of our King Charles, may they so long complain,
That tears in them force thee to weep again.

cesse, cease.