THOUGH beauty be the mark of praise
And yours of whom I sing be such
As not the world can praise too much
Yet 'tis your Virtue now I raise.
A virtue like allay so gone 5
Throughout your form as though that move
And draw and conquer all men's love
This subjects you to love of one.
Wherein you triumph yet¡ªbecause
'Tis of your flesh and that you use 10
The noblest freedom not to choose
Against or faith or honour's laws.
But who should less expect from you?
In whom alone Love lives again:
By whom he is restored to men 15
And kept and bred and brought up true.
His falling temples you have rear'd
The wither'd garlands ta'en away;
His altars kept from that decay
That envy wish'd and nature fear'd: 20
And on them burn so chaste a flame
With so much loyalty's expense
As Love to acquit such excellence
Is gone himself into your name.
And you are he¡ªthe deity 25
To whom all lovers are design'd
That would their better objects find;
Among which faithful troop am I¡ª
Who as an off'ring at your shrine
Have sung this hymn and here entreat 30
One spark of your diviner heat
To light upon a love of mine.
Which if it kindle not but scant
Appear and that to shortest view;
Yet give me leave to adore in you 35
What I in her am grieved to want!
GLOSS: allay] alloy.