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William Strode Poems
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On Gray Eyes by William Strode
Looke how the russet morne exceeds the night,
How sleekest Jett yields to the di'monds light,
So farr the glory of the gray-bright eye
Out-vyes the black in lovely majesty.
A morning mantl'd with a fleece of gray
Laughs from her brow and shewes a spotlesse day:
This di'mond-like doth not his lustre owe
To borrowed helpe, as black thinges cast a show,
It needs noe day besides itselfe, and can
Make a Cimmeria seeme meridian:
Light sees, tis seen, tis that whereby wee see
When darknesse in the opticke facultie
Is but a single element: then tell
Is not that eye the best wherein doth dwell
More plenteous light? that organ is divine,
And more than eye that is all chrystalline,
All rich of sight: oh that perspicuous glasse
That lets in light, and lets a light forth passe
Tis Lustre's thoroughfare where rayes doe thronge,
A burning glasse that fires the lookers-on.
Black eies sett off coarse beauties which they grace
But as a beard smutch'd on a swarthy face.
Why should the seat of life be dull'd with shade,
Or that be darke for which the day was made?
The learned Pallas, who had witt to choose,
And power to take, did other eyes refuse,
And wore the gray: each country painter blotts
His goddesse eyeballs with two smutty spotts.
Corruption layes on blacke; give me the eye
Whose lustre dazles paynt and poetrie,
That's day unto itselfe; which like the sun
Seemes all one flame. They that his beames will shun
Here dye like flyes: when eyes of every kind
Faint at the sun, at these the sun growes blind,
And skipps behind a cloud, that all may say
The Eye of all the world loves to be gray.
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