Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE COMPARISON, by THOMAS CAREW

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THE COMPARISON, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Dearest, thy tresses are not threads of gold
Last Line: So be within as fair, as good, as true.
Subject(s): Beauty; Virtue

DEAREST, thy tresses are not threads of gold,
Thy eyes of diamonds, nor do I hold
Thy lips for rubies, thy fair cheeks to be
Fresh roses, or thy teeth of ivory;
Thy skin that doth thy dainty body sheathe
Not alabaster is, nor dost thou breathe
Arabian odours; those the earth brings forth,
Compar'd with which would but impair thy worth.
Such may be others' mistresses, but mine
Holds nothing earthly, but is all divine.
Thy tresses are those rays that do arise
Not from one sun, but two: such are thy eyes;
Thy lips congealed nectar are, and such
As, but a deity, there's none dare touch.
The perfect crimson that thy cheek doth clothe
(But only that it far exceeds them both,)
Aurora's blush resembles, or that red
That Iris struts in when her mantle's spread.
Thy teeth in white do Leda's swan exceed;
Thy skin's a heavenly and immortal weed;
And when thou breath'st, the winds are ready straight
To filch it from thee, and do therefore wait
Close at thy lips, and snatching it from thence,
Bear it to heaven, where 'tis Jove's frankincense.
Fair goddess, since thy feature makes thee one,
Yet be not such for these respects alone;
But as you are divine in outward view,
So be within as fair, as good, as true.

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