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352                                To Lucasta, going to the Wars

TELL me not, Sweet, I am unkind,
   That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
   To war and arms I fly.
True, a new mistress now I chase,
   The first foe in the field;
And with a stronger faith embrace
   A sword, a horse, a shield.
Yet this inconstancy is such
   As thou too shalt adore;
I could not love thee, Dear, so much,
   Loved I not Honour more.

353                               To Lucasta, going beyond the Seas

       IF to be absent were to be
         Away from thee;
         Or that when I am gone
         You or I were alone;
      Then, my Lucasta, might I crave
Pity from blustering wind or swallowing wave.
     But I’ll not sigh one blast or gale
         To swell my sail,
       Or pay a tear to ’suage
       The foaming blue god’s rage;
     For whether he will let me pass
Or no, I’m still as happy as I was.
     Though seas and land betwixt us both,
         Our faith and troth,
       Like separated souls,
       All time and space controls:
     Above the highest sphere we meet
Unseen, unknown; and greet as Angels greet.
     So then we do anticipate
         Our after-fate,
       And are alive i’ the skies,
       If thus our lips and eyes
     Can speak like spirits unconfined
In Heaven, their earthy bodies left behind.

354                                         Gratiana Dancing

SHE beat the happy pavàement—
By such a star made firmament,
   Which now no more the roof envàies!
     But swells up high, with Atlas even,
     Bearing the brighter nobler heaven,
   And, in her, all the deities.
Each step trod out a Lover’s thought,
And the ambitious hopes he brought
   Chain’d to her brave feet with such arts,
     Such sweet command and gentle awe,
     As, when she ceased, we sighing saw
  The floor lay paved with broken hearts.

355                        To Amarantha, that she would
                                         dishevel her Hair

AMARANTHA sweet and fair,
Ah, braid no more that shining hair!
As my curious hand or eye
Hovering round thee, let it fly!
Let it fly as unconfined
As its calm ravisher the wind,
Who hath left his darling, th’ East,
To wanton o’er that spicy nest.
Every tress must be confest,
But neatly tangled at the best;
Like a clew of golden thread
Most excellently ravellàed.
Do not then wind up that light
In ribbands, and o’ercloud in night,
Like the Sun in ’s early ray;
But shake your head, and scatter day!

356                                            The Grasshopper

OTHOU that swing’st upon the waving hair
   Of some well-fillàed oaten beard,
Drunk every night with a delicious tear
   Dropt thee from heaven, where thou wert rear’d!
The joys of earth and air are thine entire,
   That with thy feet and wings dost hop and fly;
And when thy poppy works, thou dost retire
   To thy carved acorn-bed to lie.
Up with the day, the Sun thou welcom’st then,
   Sport’st in the gilt plaits of his beams,
And all these merry days mak’st merry men,
   Thyself, and melancholy streams.

357                                         To Althea, from Prison

WHEN Love with unconfinàed wings
   Hovers within my gates,
And my divine Althea brings
   To whisper at the grates;
When I lie tangled in her hair
   And fetter’d to her eye,
The birds that wanton in the air,
   Know no such liberty.
When flowing cups run swiftly round
   With no allaying Thames,
Our careless heads with roses bound,
   Our hearts with loyal flames;
When thirsty grief in wine we steep,
   When healths and draughts go free—
Fishes that tipple in the deep,
   Know no such liberty.
When, like committed linnets, I
   With shriller throat shall sing
The sweetness, mercy, majesty,
   And glories of my King;
When I shall voice aloud how good
   He is, how great should be,
Enlargàed winds, that curl the flood,
   Know no such liberty.

Stone walls do not a prison make,
   Nor iron bars a cage;
Minds innocent and quiet take
   That for an hermitage;
If I have freedom in my love
   And in my soul am free,
Angels alone, that soar above,
   Enjoy such liberty.


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