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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Georgian Verse. 1909.

To the Honourable Miss Carteret

Ambrose Philips (1674–1749)

BLOOM of beauty, early flower

Of the blissful bridal bower,

Thou, thy parents’ pride and care,

Fairest offspring of the fair,

Lovely pledge of mutual love,

Angel seeming from above,

Was it not thou day by day

Dost thy very sex betray,

Female more and more appear,

Female, more than angel dear,

How to speak thy face and mien,

(Soon too dangerous to be seen)

How shall I, or shall the Muse,

Language of resemblance choose,

Language like thy mien and face,

Full of sweetness, full of grace?

By the next returning spring,

When again the linnets sing,

When again the lambkins play,

Pretty sportlings full of May,

When the meadows next are seen,

Sweet enamel, white and green,

And the year in fresh attire

Welcomes every gay desire,

Blooming on shalt thou appear

More inviting than the year,

Fairer sight than orchard shows,

Which beside a river blows:

Yet another spring I see,

And a brighter bloom in thee:

And another round of time,

Circling, still improves thy prime:

And beneath the vernal skies

Yet a verdure more shall rise,

Ere thy beauties, kindling slow,

In each finished feature glow,

Ere in smiles and in disdain

Thou exert thy maiden reign.

Absolute to save, or kill,

Fond beholders, at thy will.

Happy thrice, and thrice again,

Happiest he of happy men,

Who, in courtship greatly sped,

Wins the damsel to his bed,

Bears the virgin prize away,

Counting life one nuptial day:

For the dark-brown dusk of hair,

Shadowing thick thy forehead fair,

Down the veiny temples growing,

O’er the sloping shoulders flowing,

And the smoothly penciled brow,

Mild to him in every vow,

And the fringed lid below,

Thin as thinnest blossoms blow,

And the hazely-lucid eye,

Whence heart-winning glances fly,

And that cheek of health, o’erspread

With soft-blended white and red,

And the witching smiles which break

Round those lips, which sweetly speak,

And thy gentleness of mind,

Gentle from a gentle kind,

These endowments, heavenly dower!

Brought him in the promised hour,

Shall for ever bind him to thee,

Shall renew him still to woo thee.