Abraham Cowley

Beauty

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LIBERAL Nature did dispence
To all things Arms for their defence;
And some she arms with sin'ewy force,
And some with swiftness in the course;
Some with hard Hoofs, or forked claws,
And some with Horns, or tusked jaws.
And some with Scales, and some with Wings,
And some with Teeth, and some with Stings.
Wisdom to Man she did afford,
Wisdom for Shield, and Wit for Sword.
What to beauteous Woman-kind,
What Arms, what Armour has she'assigne'd?
Beauty is both; for with the Faire
What Arms, what Armour can compare?
What Steel, what Gold, or Diamond,
More Impassible is found?
And yet what Flame, what Lightning ere
So great an Active force did bear?
They are all weapon, and they dart
Like Porcupines from every part.
Who can, alas, their strength express,
Arm'd when they themselves undress,
Cap a pe* with Nakedness?

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