English Literature » Samuel Johnson » The Natural Beauty

The Natural Beauty by

To Stella:

Whether Stella's eyes are found
Fix'd on earth or glancing round,
If her face with pleasure glow,
If she sigh at others' woe,
If her easy air express
Conscious worth, or soft distress,
Stella's eyes and air and face
Charm with undiminish'd grace
If on her we see display'd
Pendent gems, and rich brocade,
If her chintz with less expense
Flows in easy negligence;
Still she lights the conscious flame,
Still her charms appear the same;
If she strikes the vocal strings,
If she's silent, speaks, or sings,
If she sit, or if she move,
Still we love, and still approve.
Vain the casual transient glance,
Which alone can please by chance,
Beauty, which depends on art,
Changing with the changing art,
Which demands the toilet's aid,
Pendent gems and rich brocade.
I those charms alone can prize,
Which from constant Nature rise,
Which nor circumstance nor dress
E'er can make or more or less.

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