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English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

Alexander Brome

251. The Resolve

TELL me not of a face that’s fair,

Nor lip and cheek that’s red,

Nor of the tresses of her hair,

Nor curls in order laid,

Nor of a rare seraphic voice

That like an angel sings;

Though if I were to take my choice

I would have all these things:

But if that thou wilt have me love,

And it must be a she,

The only argument can move

Is that she will love me.

The glories of your ladies be

But metaphors of things,

And but resemble what we see

Each common object brings.

Roses out-red their lips and cheeks,

Lilies their whiteness stain;

What fool is he that shadows seeks

And may the substance gain?

Then if thou’lt have me love a lass,

Let it be one that’s kind:

Else I’m a servant to the glass

That’s with Canary lined.