VISTAS: An awareness of a range of time, events, or subjects. A broad Mental View.

The Triumph of Charis

Ben Jonson

See the Chariot at hand here of Love,
Wherein my Lady rideth!
Each that draws is a swan or a dove,
And well the car Love guideth
As she goes, all hearts do duty
Unto her beauty;
And enamour'd do wish, so they might
But enjoy such a sight,
That they still were to run by her side,
Thorough swords, thorough seas, whither she would ride.
Do but look on her eyes, they do light
All that Love's world compriseth!
Do but look on her hair, it is bright
As Love's star when it riseth!
Do but mark, her forehead's smoother
Than words that soothe her;
And from her arch'd brows such grace
Sheds itself through the face,
As alone there triumphs to the life
All the gain, all the good, of the elements' strife.
Have you seen but a bright lily grow
Before rude hands have touch'd it?
Have you mark'd but the fall of the snow
Before the soil hath smutch'd it?
Have you felt the wool of the beaver,
Or swan's down ever?
Or have smelt of the bud of the brier,
Or the nard in the fire?
Or have tasted the bag of the bee?
O so white, O so soft, O so sweet is she!

--from A Celebration of Charis in Ten Lyric Pieces

The phrase "or swan's down ever" occurs also at the end of Ezra Pound's Pian Cantos. This "triumph" is the fourth part of Jonson's "Celebration of Charis in Ten Lyric Pieces." No person has been identified as the original of "Charis," whose name means "grace." (Note that: "whether" is "whithersoever"; "nard" is "spikenard," an aromatic plant.)