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Photos, hair and makeup by Fabiana Medeiros
Happy Valentine’s Day! What better way to celebrate this day of love than by enjoying some beautifully written poems about beauty – sought after, beheld, and admired! ♥
1. “Seeking Beauty” by William Henry Davies
Cold winds can never freeze, nor thunder sour
The cup of cheer that Beauty draws for me
Out of those Azure heavens and this green earth—
I drink and drink, and thirst the more I see.
To see the dewdrops thrill the blades of grass,
Makes my whole body shake; for here's my choice
Of either sun or shade, and both are green—
A Chaffinch laughs in his melodious voice.
The banks are stormed by Speedwell, that blue flower
So like a little heaven with one star out;
I see an amber lake of buttercups,
And Hawthorn foams the hedges round about.
The old Oak tree looks now so green and young,
That even swallows perch awhile and sing:
This is that time of year, so sweet and warm,
When bats wait not for stars ere they take wing.
As long as I love Beauty I am young,
Am young or old as I love more or less;
When Beauty is not heeded or seems stale,
My life's a cheat, let Death end my distress.
2. “The Sovereign Beauty” (Sonnet III from Amoretti) by Edmund Spenser
The sovereign beauty which I do admire,
Witness the world how worthy to be praised!
The light whereof hath kindled heavenly fire
In my frail spirit, by her from baseness raised;
That being now with her huge brightness dazed,
Base thing I can no more endure to view:
But looking still on her, I stand amazed
At wondrous sight of so celestial hue.
So when my tongue would speak her praises due,
It stopped is with thought's astonishment:
And when my pen would write her titles true,
It ravish'd is with fancy's wonderment:
Yet in my heart I then both speak and write
The wonder that my wit cannot endite.
3. “There be none of Beauty’s daughters” by Lord Byron
There be none of Beauty's daughters
With a magic like Thee;
And like music on the waters
Is thy sweet voice to me:
When, as if its sound were causing
The charmèd ocean's pausing,
The waves lie still and gleaming,
And the lull'd winds seem dreaming:
And the midnight moon is weaving
Her bright chain o'er the deep,
Whose breast is gently heaving
As an infant's asleep:
So the spirit bows before thee
To listen and adore thee;
With a full but soft emotion,
Like the swell of Summer's ocean.
4. “Sonnet IV” by Michael Drayton
Bright star of beauty, on whose eyelids sit
A thousand nymph-like and enamour'd Graces,
The Goddesses of Memory and Wit,
Which there in order take their several places;
In whose dear bosom sweet delicious Love
Lays down his quiver, which he once did bear,
Since he that blessed Paradise did prove,
And leaves his mother's lap to sport him there.
Let others strive to entertain with words;
My soul is of a braver metal made;
I hold that vile which vulgar wit affords;
In me's that faith which Time cannot invade.
Let what I praise be still made good by you;
Be you most worthy, whilst I am most true.
5. “Soul’s Beauty” by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Under the arch of Life, where love and death,
Terror and mystery, guard her shrine, I saw
Beauty enthroned; and though her gaze struck awe,
I drew it in as simply as my breath.
Hers are the eyes which, over and beneath,
The sky and sea bend on thee,—which can draw,
By sea or sky or woman, to one law,
The allotted bondman of her palm and wreath.
This is that Lady Beauty, in whose praise
Thy voice and hand shake still,—long known to thee
By flying hair and fluttering hem,—the beat
Following her daily of thy heart and feet,
How passionately and irretrievably,
In what fond flight, how many ways and days!
6. “Beauty Arise” by Thomas Dekker
Beauty arise, show forth thy glorious shining,
Thine eyes feed love, for them he standeth pining;
Honor and youth attend to do their duty
To thee (their only sovereign) Beauty.
Beauty arise, whilst we, thy servants, sing,
Io to Hymen, wedlock’s jocund King.
Io to Hymen, Io, Io, sing;
Of wedlock, love, and youth is Hymen king.
Beauty arise, Beauty arise, thy glorious lights display,
Whilst we sing Io, glad to see this day.
Io, Io, to Hymen, Io, Io, sing;
Of wedlock, love, and youth is Hymen King.
7. “Sonnet 18” by William Shakespeare
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimm’d:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st:
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
As the wonderful writer Alexandra York once wrote,
Reason is the sun. Beauty is the moon. The second is revealed by the light of the first.
This Valentine’s Day, take a moment to appreciate what distinguishes humans from all other things on Earth – we are creatures of reason and seekers of beauty.