'So jealous of your beauty'

Michael Field



So jealous of your beauty,

   You will not wed

     For dread

That hymeneal duty

   Should touch and mar

The lovely thing you are?

Come to your garden-bed!


Learn there another lesson:

   This poppy-head,


Of having crimson dress on,

Is now a fruit,

Whose marvellous pale suit

Transcends the glossy red.


What, count the colour

     Of apricot,


Warming in August, duller

     Than those most shy,

Frail flowers that spread and die

Before the sun is hot!


Lady, the hues unsightly,

     And best forgot,

     Are not

Berries and seeds set brightly,

     But withered blooms:

     Alack, vainglory dooms

You to their ragged lot!