Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, CONTENTION BETWEEN FOUR MAIDS CONCERNING ... ADDED MOST PERFECTION, by JOHN DAVIES (1569-1626)



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CONTENTION BETWEEN FOUR MAIDS CONCERNING ... ADDED MOST PERFECTION, by            
First Line: Our fairest garland, made of beauty's flowers
Last Line: If not, she 's rich because she is content.
Subject(s): Perfection; Virtue; Wealth; Riches; Fortunes


Our fairest garland, made of Beauty's flowers,
Doth of itself supply all other dowers.
Women excel the perfect'st men in this,
And therefore herein their perfection is.
For beauty we the glorious heavens admire;
Fair fields, fair houses, gold and pearl, desire.
Beauty doth always health and youth employ
And doth delight the noblest sense, the eye.
Beauty delights the soul, but wit the reason:
Wit lasts an age, and beauty but a season.
The sense is quickly cloy'd with beauty's taste,
When wit's delight still quick and fresh doth last.
Beauty weak eyes with her illusions blinds:
Wit conquers spirits and triumphs over minds.
Dead things have beauty, only man hath wit,
And man's perfection doth consist in it.
Wealth is a power that passeth nature far,
Makes every goose a swan, and spark a star.
Queen Money brings and gives with royal hands
Friends, kindred, honour, husband, house and lands.
Not a fair face, but fortune fair, I crave:
Let me want wit so I fools' fortune have.
Yet those perfections most imperfect be
If there be wanting virtuous modesty.
Virtue's aspect would have the sweetest grace
If we could see as we conceive her face.
Virtue guides wit with well-affected will,
Which if wit want, it proves a dangerous ill.
Virtue gains wealth with her good government:
If not, she 's rich because she is content.






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