Nonpareil

A poem by Matthew Prior

Let others from the Town retire,
And in the fields seek new delight;
My Phillis does such joys inspire,
No other objects please my sight.

In her alone I find whate'er
Beauties a country landscape grace;
No shade so lovely as her hair,
Nor plain so sweet as is her face.

Lilies and roses there combine,
More beauteous than in flowery field;
Transparent is her skin so fine,
To this each crystal stream must yield.

Her voice more sweet than warbling sound,
Though sung by nightingale or lark;
Her eyes such lustre dart around,
Compared to them the sun is dark.

Both light and vital heat they give,
Cherish'd by them my love takes root;
From her kind looks does life receive,
Grows a fair plant, bears flowers and fruit.

Such fruit I ween did once deceive
The common parent of mankind,
And made transgress our mother Eve,
Poison its core, though fair its rind.

Yet so delicious is its taste,
I cannot from the bait abstain,
But to th' enchanting pleasure haste,
Though I were sure 'twould end in pain.

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