Sonet 48

William Alexander

When as I come to thy respected sight,
Thy lookes are all so chast, thy words so graue,
That my affections do the foile receaue,
And like to darknes yeeld vnto the light;
Still vertue holds the ballance of thy wit,
In which great reason ponders euery thought,
And thou deare Ladie neuer staind in ought,
Thus ore thy selfe dost as an Empresse sit.
O what is beautie if not free from blame,
It haue the soule as white as is the skinne,
The froth of vanitie, the dregs of sinne,
A wracke to others, to it selfe a shame;
And as it is most precious if kept pure,
It is as much abhorr'd if once impure.

Last updated January 14, 2019