Home  »  The Book of Elizabethan Verse  »  Henry Constable (1562–1613)

William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Elizabethan Verse. 1907.

My Lady’s Presence Makes the Roses Red

Henry Constable (1562–1613)

MY Lady’s presence makes the Roses red,

Because to see her lips they blush for shame.

The Lily’s leaves, for envy, pale became,

For her white hands in them this envy bred.

The Marigold the leaves abroad doth spread,

Because the sun’s and her power is the same.

The Violet of purple colour came,

Dyed in the blood she made my heart to shed.

In brief all flowers from her their virtue take;

From her sweet breath, their sweet smells do proceed;

The living heat which her eyebeams doth make

Warmeth the ground, and quickeneth the seed.

The rain, wherewith she watereth the flowers,

Falls from mine eyes, which she dissolves in showers.