Why do you love to walk abroad so gay,1
To rustle in fine silks and rich array,2
With borrowed beauties nature’s grace to mar,3
Nor let your limbs shine glorious as they are ?4
Cosmetics, perfumes, ornamented hair5
Are these the gifts, think you, to make you fair ?6
Trust me, my life, you cannot thus gild gold ;7
Love naked loves not artificial mould.8
See with what hues the beauteous earth is crowned,9
See, the wild ivy better trails around ;10
Fairer the arbute in lone grots that grows,11
Fairer the water that untutored flows ;12
The painted shores their native shells up-roll,13
And sweeter sing the birds with artless troll.14
’Twas not by glossy guise and rich attire15
The dames of old did kindle Cupid’s fire ;16
Indebted to no jewels was their face,17
Such colour as Apelles’ brush could trace ;18
They did not seek admirers to entice,19
And modesty for beauty did suffice.20
And yet to them you do not yield the palm :21
She charms enough, who can one lover charm.22
You Phœbus doth with vocal strains inspire,23
To you the muse gives her Aonian lyre.24
By pleasant wit, by wisdom, grace, and love,25
Which Venus and Minerva both approve,26
The idol of my life you still shall be,27
When you shall tire of show and vanity.28

* Translated from Propertius, i., Eleg. ii.