Selected Poems of Katherine Philips

Poems from Poems by the Incomparable, Mrs. K.P.  (1664)


Arion to a Dolphin, On His Majesty's 
passage into England.
Whom does this stately Navy bring? 
O!  ‘tis Great Britain's Glorious King, 
Convey him then, ye Winds and Seas, 
Swift as Desire and calm as Peace. 
In your Respect let him survey 
What all his other Subjects pay; 
And prophesie to them again 
The splendid smoothness of his Reign. 
Charles and his mighty hopes you bear: 
A greater now then Cæsar's here;                   10 
Whose Veins a richer Purple boast 
Then ever Hero's yet engrost; 
Sprung from a Father so august, 
He triumphs in his very dust. 
In him two Miracles we view, 
His Vertue and his Safety too: 
For when compell'd by Traitors crimes 
To breathe and bow in forein Climes, 
Expos'd to all the rigid fate 
That does on wither'd Greatness wait,             20 
Had plots for Life and Conscience laid, 
By Foes pursu'd, by Friends betray'd; 
Then Heaven, his secret potent friend, 
Did him from Drugs and Stabs defend; 
And, what's more yet, kept him upright 
‘Midst flattering Hope and bloudy Fight. 
Cromwell his whole Right never gain'd, 
Defender of the Faith remain'd, 
For which his Predecessors fought 
And writ, but none so dearly bought.               30 
Never was Prince so much beseiged, 
At home provok'd, abroad obliged; 
Nor ever Man resisted thus, 
No not great Athanasius
No help of Friends could, or Foes spight, 
To fierce Invasion him invite. 
Revenge to him no pleasure is, 
He spar'd their bloud who gap'd for his; 
Blush'd any hands the English Crown 
Should fasten on him but their own.                 40 
As Peace and Freedom with him went, 
With him they came from Banishment. 
That he might his Dominions win, 
He with himself did first begin: 
And that best victory obtain'd, 
His Kingdom quickly he regain'd. 
Th' illustrious suff'rings of this Prince 
Did all reduce and all convince. 
He onely liv'd with such success, 
That the whole world would fight with less.      50 
Assistant Kings could but subdue 
Those Foes which he can pardon too. 
He thinks no Slaughter-trophees good, 
Nor Laurels dipt in Subjects blood; 
But with a sweet resistless art 
Disarms the hand, and wins the heart; 
And like a God doth rescue those 
Who did themselves and him oppose. 
Go, wondrous Prince, adorn that Throne 
Which Birth and Merit make your own;           60 
And in your Mercy brighter shine 
Then in the Glories of your Line: 
Find Love at home, and abroad Fear, 
And Veneration every where. 
Th' united world will you allow 
Their Chief, to whom the English bow: 
And Monarchs shall to yours resort, 
As Sheba's Queen to Judah's Court; 
Returning thence constrained more 
To wonder, envy, and adore.                          70 
Disgusted Rome will hate your Crown, 
But she shall tremble at your Frown. 
     For England shall (rul'd and restor'd by You) 
     The suppliant world protect, or else subdue.



"Whom does this stately
Navy bring?
O! 'tis Great Britain's
Glorious King"


"Convey him then, 
ye Winds and Seas,
Swift as Desire and
strong as Peace."
Title.  Arion to a Dolphin:  Greek poet Arion.  In the legend told by Herodotus, Arion fell overboard while returning home from a journey and was rescued and carried safely to land by a dolphin.
Title.  His Majesty's passage into England: the return of Charles II (1630-1685) to England on May 24-26, 1660 begins the period referred to as the Restoration.
Line 27.  Cromwell:   Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658), Lord Protector.  Parliamentarian, Puritan leader, opponent of the monarchy, and signatory to the Death warrant of Charles I. 
Line 28.  Defender of the Faith: a title conferred upon Henry VIII by Pope Leo X  in 1521, before the break with Rome.  In 1544 Parliament recognized it as an official title of the English monarch.
 Line 34.  great Athanasius:  St. Athanasius (c. 296-373), Bishop of Alexandria, was exiled from his see five times between 336 and 366.
Line 68.  Sheba's Queen to Judah's Court: refers to the Queen of Sheba's awe upon her visit to Solomon at his court in Jerusalem (1 Kings 10:1-13).
Line 71.  Rome: the Papacy.
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On the Fair Weather just at Coronation.
So clear a season, and so snatch'd from storms, 
Shews Heav'n delights to see what Man performs.
Well knew the Sun, if such a day were dim, 
It would have been an injury to him: 
For then a Cloud had from his eye conceal'd 
The noblest sight that ever he beheld. 
He therefore check'd th' invading Rains we feared, 
And a more bright Parenthesis appeared. 
So that we knew not which look'd most content, 
The King, the People, or the Firmament. 
But the Solemnity once fully past, 
The storm return'd with an impetuous hast. 
And Heav'n and Earth each other to out-doe, 
Vied both in Cannons and in Fire-works too. 
So Israel past through the divided floud, 
While in obedient heaps the Ocean stood: 
But the same Sea (the Hebrews once on shore) 
Return'd in torrents where it was before.
Title.  Coronation: April 23, 1661 coronation of Charles II.
Line 8.  bright Parenthesis: An interval, interlude, or hiatus during the coronation of Charles II, there being rain both prior to and after the event.
Line 12.  1664 text contains a line of asterisks.  Missing line supplied from Poems by the Most deservedly admired Mrs Katherine Philips, The Matchless Orinda  (1667),  Ed. Sir Charles Cotterell,  London: Herringman, 1667.
Line 13.  Cannons and in Fire-works:  Thunder and lightning of post-coronation storm.
Lines 15-18.  Refer to the Biblical account of the parting of the Red Sea (Exod. 14:21-29). 
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To the truly noble Mr. Henry Lawes.
Nature, which is the vast Creation's Soul, 
That steddy curious Agent in the whole, 
The Art of Heaven, the Order of this Frame, 
Is onely Number in another name. 
For as some King conqu'ring what was his own, 
Hath choice of several Titles to his Crown; 
So Harmony on this score now, that then, 
Yet still is all that takes and governs Men. 
Beauty is but Composure, and we find 
Content is but the Accord of the Mind,                        10 
Friendship the Union of well-tuned Hearts, 
Honour's the Chorus of the noblest parts, 
And all the World on which we can reflect 
Musick to th' Ear, or to the Intellect. 
If then each man a Little World must be, 
How many Worlds are copied out in thee, 
Who art so richly formed, so complete 
T'epitomize all that is Good and Great; 
Whose Stars this brave advantage did impart, 
Thy Nature's as harmonious as thy Art.                        20 
Thou dost above the Poets praises live, 
Who fetch from thee th' Eternity they give. 
And as true Reason triumphs over Sense, 
Yet is subjected to Intelligence; 
So Poets on the lower World look down, 
But Lawes on them; his Height is all his own. 
For, like Divinity it self, his Lyre 
Rewards the Wit it did at first inspire. 
And thus by double right Poets allow 
His and their Laurel should adorn his brow.                  30 
Live then, great Soul of Nature, to asswage 
The savage dulness of this sullen Age. 
Charm us to Sense; for though Experience fail 
And Reason too, thy Numbers may prevail. 
Then, like those Ancients, strike, and so command 
All Nature to obey thy gen'rous hand. 
None will resist but such who needs will be 
More stupid then a Stone, a Fish, a Tree. 
Be it thy care our Age to new-create: 
What built a World may sure repair a State.                 40
Title.  Henry Lawes: (1595/6-1662) prominent English composer associated with the court of Charles I and Henrietta Maria who set several of Philips's poems to music.
Line 3.  Frame: To shape or  compose.
Line 7.  score: a written or printed piece of music that includes all the vocal and instrumental parts.
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Friendship's Mystery, To my dearest Lucasia. 
Set by Mr. Henry Lawes.

Come, my Lucasia, since we see 
     That Miracles Mens faith do move, 
By wonders and by prodigy 
     To the dull angry world let's prove 
     There's a Religion in our Love. 

For though we were design'd t'agree, 
     That Fate no liberty destroyes, 
But our Election is as free 
     As Angels, who with greedy choice 
     Are yet determin'd to their joyes. 

Our hearts are doubled by the loss, 
     Here Mixture is Addition grown; 
We both diffuse, and both ingross: 
     And we whose Minds are so much one, 
     Never, yet ever, are alone. 

We count our own captivity 
     Then greatest thrones more innocent: 
‘Twere banishment to be set free, 
     Since we wear fetters whose intent 
     Not bondage is, but Ornament. 

Divided joyes are tedious found, 
     And griefs united easier grow: 
We are our selves but by rebound, 
     And all our Titles shuffled so, 
     Both Princes and both Subjects too. 

Our Hearts are mutual Victims laid, 
     While they (such power in Friendship lies) 
Are Altars, Priests, and Off'rings made: 
     And each Heart which thus kindly dies, 
     Grows deathless by the Sacrifice.

English noblewoman
"And we whose Minds 
are so much one,
Never, yet ever, are alone"
Title.  Lucasia:  Philips's name for Anne Owen, later Lady Dungannon.
Title.  Mr. Henry Lawes: musician (1596-1662).
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A Dialogue of Absence 'twixt Lucasia and
Orinda.  Set by Mr. Hen. Lawes.
Luc.   Say, my Orinda, why so sad? 
Orin.  Absence fro thee doth tear my heart; 
Which, since with thine it union had, 
     Each parting splits.  Luc. And can we part? 
Orin.  Our Bodies must.  Luc.  But never we: 
     Our Souls, without the help of Sense, 
By wayes more noble and more free 
     Can meet, and hold intelligence. 
Orin.  And yet those Souls, when first they met, 
     Lookt out at windows through the Eyes.               10 
Luc.  But soon did such acquaintance get, 
     Not Fate nor Time can them surprize. 
Orin.  Absence will rob us of that bliss 
     To which this Friendship title brings: 
Love's fruits and joyes are made by this 
     Useless as Crowns to captiv'd Kings. 
Luc.  Friendship's a Science, and we know 
     There Contemplation's most employ'd. 
Orin.  Religion's so, but practick too, 
     And both by niceties destroy'd.                       20 
Luc.  But who ne're parts can never meet, 
     And so that happiness were lost. 
Orin.  Thus Pain and Death are sadly sweet, 
     Since Health and Heav'n such price must cost. 

But we shall come where no rude hand shall sever, 
And there wee'l meet and part no more for ever.

Line 17.  Science: used in the broad sense of a branch of knowledge, or study.
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To my dear Sister, Mrs. C. P. on her 
We will not like those men our offerings pay 
Who crown the cup, then think they crown the day. 
We make no garlands, nor an altar build, 
Which help not Joy, but Ostentation yield. 
Where mirth is justly grounded these wild toyes 
Are but a troublesome, and empty noise. 

But these shall be my great Solemnities, 
Orinda's wishes for Cassandra's bliss. 
May her Content be as unmix'd and pure 
As my Affection, and like that endure;                         10 
And that strong Happiness may she still find 
Not owing to her Fortune, but her Mind. 

May her Content and Duty be the same, 
And may she know no Grief but in the name. 
May his and her Pleasure and Love be so 
Involv'd and growing, that we may not know 
Who most Affection or most Peace engrost; 
Whose Love is strongest, or whose Bliss is most. 

May nothing accidental e're appear 
But what shall with new bonds their Souls endear;        20 
And may they count the hours as they pass, 
By their own Joys, and not by Sun or Glass: 
While every day like this may Sacred prove 
To Friendship, Gratitude, and Strictest Love. 

English Noblewoman, 1644
"We make no garlands,
nor an altar build,
Which help not Joy,
but Ostentation yeild."
Title.  Mrs. C. P.: Orinda's sister-in-law, Cicely Philips
Line 6.  Are but a troublesome, and empty noise:  1664 text contains a line of asterisks.  Missing line supplied from 1667 Poems.
Line 8: Cassandra:  a coterie name for Cicely Philips?
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To the Queen of Inconstancy, Regina Collier, 
in Antwerp.
Unworthy, since thou hast decreed 
Thy Love and Honour both shall bleed, 
My Friendship could not chuse to die 
In better time or company. 

What thou hast got by this Exchange 
Thou wilt perceive, when the Revenge 
Shall by those treacheries be made, 
For which our Faith thou hast betray'd. 

When thy Idolaters shall be 
True to themselves, and false to thee,             10 
Thou'lt see that in Heart-merchandise, 
Value, not Number, makes the price. 

Live to that day my Innocence 
Shall be my Friendship's just defence: 
For this is all the World can find, 
While thou wert noble, I was kind. 

The desp'rate game that thou dost play 
At private Ruines cannot stay; 
The horrid treachery of that Face 
Will sure undo its native place.                       20 

Then let the Frenchmen never fear 
The victory while thou art there: 
For if Sins will call Judgments down, 
Thou hast enough to stock the Town.

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To the Excellent Mrs. Anne Owen, upon her 
receiving the name Of Lucasia, and Adoption into our Society, Decemb. 28. 1651.

   We are complete, and Fate hath now 
     No greater blessing to bestow; 
     No, the dull World must now confess 
     We have all worth, all happiness. 
Annals of State are trifles to our fame, 
Now 'tis made sacred by Lucasia's name. 

     But as though through a Burning-glass 
     The Sun more vigorous doth pass, 
     Yet still with general freedom shines; 
     For that contracts, but not confines:              10 
So though by this her beams are fixed here, 
Yet she diffuses glory every where. 

     Her Mind is so entirely bright, 
     The splendour would but wound our sight, 
     And must to some disguise submit, 
     Or we could never worship it. 
And we by this relation are allow'd 
Lustre enough to be Lucasia's Cloud. 

     Nations will own us now to be                     20 
     A Temple of Divinity; 
     And Pilgrims shall ten Ages hence 
     Approach our Tombs with reverence. 
May then that time which did such bliss convey 
Be kept by us perpetual Holy-day. 

Line 7.   Burning glass: a lens by which the rays of the sun may be concentrated on an object. 
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On the little Regina Collier, on the same 
Vertue's Blossom, Beautie's Bud, 
The Pride of all that's fair and good, 
By Death's fierce hand was snatched hence 
In her state of Innocence: 
Who by it this advantage gains, 
Her wages got without her pains.
Title.  Regina Collier: daughter of John and Regina Collier;  the Same Tomb-Stone: the same stone as that of her father, who died some months after her.
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Let the dull brutish World that know not Love 
Continue Hereticks, and disapprove 
That noble Flame; but the refined know 
‘Tis all the Heaven we have here below. 
Nature subsists by Love, and they do tie 
Things to their Causes but by Sympathy. 
Love chains the different Elements in one 
Great Harmony, link'd to the Heav'nly Throne. 
And as on Earth, so the blest Quire above 
Of Saints and Angels are maintain'd by Love;                10 
That is their Business and Felicity, 
And will be so to all Eternity. 
That is the Ocean, our Affections here 
Are but streams borrow'd from the Fountain there. 
And ‘tis the noblest Argument to prove 
A Beauteous mind, that it knows how to Love. 
Those kind Impressions which Fate can't controul, 
Are Heaven's mintage on a worthy Soul. 
For Love is all the Arts Epitome, 
And is the Sum of all Divinity.                                       20 
He's worse then Beast that cannot Love, and yet 
It is not bought for Money, Pains or Wit; 
For no change or design can Spirits move, 
But the Eternal destiny of Love: 
And when two Souls are chang'd and mixed so, 
It is what they and none but they can doe. 
This, this is Friendship, that abstracted flame 
Which groveling Mortals know not how to name, 
All Love is sacred, and the Marriage-tie 
Hath much of Honour and Divinity.                              30 
But Lust, Design, or some unworthy ends 
May mingle there, which are despis'd by Friends. 
Passion hath violent extreams, and thus 
All oppositions are contiguous. 
So when the end is serv'd their Love will bate, 
If Friendship make it not more fortunate: 
Friendship, that Love's Elixir, that pure fire 
Which burns the clearer ‘cause it burns the higher, 
For Love, like earthly fires (which will decay 
If the material fuel be away)                                         40 
Is with offensive smoke accompanied, 
And by resistance only is supplied: 
But Friendship, like the fiery Element, 
With its own Heat and Nourishment content, 
Where neither hurt, nor smoke, nor noise is made, 
Scorns the assistance of a forein aid. 
Friendship (like Heraldry) is hereby known, 
Richest when plainest, bravest when alone, 
Calm as a Virgin, and more Innocent 
Then sleeping Doves are, and as much content            50 
As Saints in Visions; quiet as the Night, 
But clear and open as the Summer's light; 
United more then Spirits Faculties, 
Higher in thoughts then are the Eagle's eyes; 
Free as first Agents are, true Friends and kind, 
As but their selves I can no likeness find.



Line 48.  bravest: most splendid.
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The World.
We falsly think it due unto our Friends, 
That we should grieve for their untimely ends. 
He that surveys the World with serious eyes, 
And strips her from her gross and weak disguise, 
Shall find ‘tis Injury to mourn their Fate; 
He onely dies untimely who dies late. 
For if ‘twere told to Children in the Womb, 
To what a Stage of Mischiefs they must come; 
Could they foresee with how much toil and sweat 
Men court that guilded nothing, being Great;                   10 
What pains they take not to be what they seem, 
Rating their bliss by others false esteem, 
And sacrificing their Content, to be 
Guilty of grave and serious Vanity; 
How each Condition hath its proper Thorns, 
And what one man admires, another scorns; 
How frequently their Happiness they miss, 
And so far from agreeing what it is, 
That the same Person we can hardly find 
Who is an hour together in one mind:                              20 
Sure they would beg a Period of their breath, 
And what we call their Birth would count their Death. 
Mankind are mad, for none can live alone 
Because their Joys stand by comparison: 
And yet they quarrel at Society, 
And strive to kill they know not whom, nor why. 
We all live by Mistake, delight in Dreams, 
Lost to our selves, and dwelling in Extremes; 
Rejecting what we have, though ne're so good, 
And prizing what we never understood.                          30 
Compar'd t'our boisterous inconstancy 
Tempests are calm, and Discords harmony. 
Hence we reverse the World, and yet do find 
The God that made can hardly please our Mind. 
We live by chance, and slip into Events; 
Have all of Beasts except their Innocence. 
The Soul, which no man's pow'r can reach, a thing 
That makes each Woman Man, each Man a King, 
Doth so much lose, and from its height so fall, 
That some contend to have no Soul at all.                      40 
‘Tis either not observ'd, or at the best 
By Passion fought withall, by Sin deprest. 
Freedom of Will (God's Image) is forgot; 
And, if we know it, we improve it not. 
Our Thoughts, though nothing can be more our own, 
Are still unguided, very seldom known. 
Time ‘scapes our hands as Water in a Sieve, 
We come to die e're we begin to live. 
Truth, the most sutable and noble prize, 
Food of our Spirits, yet neglected lies.                           50 
Errour and Shadows are our choice, and we 
Owe our perdition to our own decree. 
If we search Truth, we make it more obscure; 
And when it shines, we can't the light endure. 
For most men now, who plod, and eat, and drink, 
Have nothing less their bus'ness then to think. 
And those few that enquire, how small a share 
Of Truth they find, how dark their Notions are! 
That serious Evenness that calms the Breast, 
And in a Tempest can bestow a Rest,                           60 
We either not attempt, or else decline, 
By ev'ry trifle snatch'd from our design. 
(Others he must in his deceits involve, 
Who is not true unto his own Resolve.) 
We govern not our selves, but loose the Reins, 
Courting our Bondage to a thousand chains; 
And with as many Slaveries content 
As there are Tyrants ready to torment, 
We live upon a Rack extended still 
To one Extreme or both, but always ill.                        70 
For since our Fortune is not understood, 
We suffer less from bad then from the good. 
The Sting is better drest and longer lasts, 
As Surfeits are more dangerous then Fasts. 
And to complete the misery to us, 
We see Extremes are still contiguous. 
And as we run so fast from what we hate, 
Like Squibs on Ropes, to know no middle state; 
So outward storms strengthned by us, we find 
Our Fortune as disordered as our Mind.                      80 
But that's excus'd by this, it doth its part; 
A trech'rous World befits a trech'rous Heart. 
All ill's our own, the outward storms we lothe 
Receive from us their Birth, their Sting, or both. 
And that our Vanity be past a doubt, 
‘Tis one new Vanity to find it out. 
Happy are they to whom God gives a Grave, 
And from themselves as from his wrath doth save. 
‘Tis good not to be born; but if we must, 
The next good is, soon to return to dust.                      90 
When th'uncag'd Soul fled to Eternity 
Shall rest, and live, and sing, and love, and see. 
Here we but crawl and grapple, play and cry; 
Are first our own, then others, enemy: 
But there shall be defac'd both stain and score, 
For Time, and Death, and Sin shall be no more.



Line 21.  Period:  end.
Line 37.  That makes each Woman Man: both scholastic and Renaissance writers generally accepted that souls could not be regarded as either male or female.
Line 78.  Like Squibs on Ropes: a squib is a species of firework whose burning ends in an explosion.
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Poems from Poems by the Most Deservedly Admired Mrs. Katherine Philips, The Matchless Orinda (1667)

Orinda to Lucasia parting October 1661. at London. 

Adieu dear object of my Love's excess, 
And with thee all my hopes of happiness, 
With the same fervent and unchanged heart 
Which did it's whole self once to thee impart, 
(And which though fortune has so sorely bruis'd, 
Would suffer more, to be from this excus'd) 
I to resign thy dear Converse submit, 
Since I can neither keep, nor merit it. 
Thou hast too long to me confined been, 
Who ruine am without, passion within.                          10 
My mind is sunk below thy tenderness, 
And my condition does deserve it less; 
I'm so entangl'd and so lost a thing 
By all the shocks my daily sorrow bring, 
That would'st thou for thy old Orinda call 
Thou hardly could'st unravel her at all. 
And should I thy clear fortunes interline 
With the incessant miseries of mine? 
No, no, I never lov'd at such a rate 
To tye thee to the rigours of my fate,                            20 
As from my obligations thou art free, 
Sure thou shalt be so from my Injury, 
Though every other worthiness I miss, 
Yet I'le at least be generous in this. 
I'd rather perish without sigh or groan, 
Then thou shoul'dst be condemn'd to give me one; 
Nay in my soul I rather could allow 
Friendship should be a sufferer, then thou; 
Go then, since my sad heart has set thee free, 
Let all the loads and chains remain on me.                   30 
Though I be left the prey of sea and wind, 
Thou being happy wilt in that be kind; 
Nor shall I my undoing much deplore, 
Since thou art safe, whom I must value more. 
Oh! mayst thou ever be so, and as free 
From all ills else, as from my company, 
And may the torments thou hast had from it 
Be all that heaven will to thy life permit. 
And that they may thy vertue service do, 
Mayest thou be able to forgive them too:                     40 
But though I must this sharp submission learn, 
I cannot yet unwish thy dear concern. 
Not one new comfort I expect to see, 
I quit my Joy, hope, life, and all but thee; 
Nor seek I thence ought that may discompose 
That mind where so serene a goodness grows. 
I ask no inconvenient kindness now, 
To move thy passion, or to cloud thy brow; 
And thou wilt satisfie my boldest plea 
By some few soft remembrances of me,                      50 
Which may present thee with this candid thought, 
I meant not all the troubles that I brought. 
Own not what Passion rules, and Fate does crush, 
But wish thou couldst have don't without a blush, 
And that I had been ere, it was too late, 
Either more worthy, or more fortunate. 
Ah who can love the thing they cannot prize? 
But thou mayst pity though thou dost despise. 
Yet I should think that pity bought too dear, 
If it should cost those precious Eyes a tear.                 60 
 Oh may no minutes trouble, thee possess, 
But to endear the next hours happiness; 
And maist thou when thou art from me remov'd, 
Be better pleas'd, but never worse belov'd: 
Oh pardon me for pow'ring out my woes 
In Rhime now, that I dare not do't in Prose. 
For I must lose whatever is call'd dear, 
And thy assistance all that loss to bear, 
And have more cause than ere I had before, 
To fear that I shall never see thee more.                      70

Title.  October 1661:  two months before the first of Philips's Letters from Orinda to Poliarchus, where she indicates her failure  to make a match between Sir Charles Cotterell  and Anne Owen.
Line 7.  Converse: acquaintance, friendship.
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To my Lady M. Cavendish, chosing the name of Policrite.

That Nature in your frame has taken care, 
As well your Birth as Beauty do declare, 
Since we at once discover in your Face, 
The lustre of your Eyes and of your Race: 
And that your shape and fashion does attest, 
So bright a form has yet a brighter guest, 
To future times authentick fame shall bring, 
Historians shall relate, and Poets sing. 
But since your boundless mind upon my head, 
Some rays of splendour is content to shed; 
And least I suffer by the great surprize,                      10 
Since you submit to meet me in disguise, 
Can lay aside what dazles vulgar sight, 
And to Orinda can be Policrite
You must endure my vows and find the way 
To entertain such Rites as I can pay: 
For so the pow'r divine new praise acquires, 
By scorning nothing that it once inspires: 
I have no merits that your smile can win, 
Nor offering to appease you when I sin;                     20 
Nor can my useless homage hope to raise, 
when what I cannot serve, I strive to praise: 
But I can love, and love at such a pitch, 
As I dare boast it will ev'n you enrich; 
For kindness is a Mine, when great and true, 
Of nobler Ore than ever Indians knew, 
'Tis all that mortals can on Heav'n bestow, 
And all that Heav'n can value here below.

Title.  Policrite: Orinda's pseudonym for Lady Mary Cavendish (1646-1710).
Line 26.  Indians: the people of  India or the East Indies.
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Against Love

Hence Cupid with your cheating Toies, 
Your real Griefs, and painted Joies, 
your Pleasure which it self destroies. 
      Lovers like men in Feavers burn and rave, 
      And only what will injure them do crave. 
Mens weakness makes Love so severe, 
They give him power by their fear, 
And make the Shackles which they wear. 
      Who to another does his heart submit, 
      Makes his own Idol, and then worships it. 
Him whose heart is all his own, 
Peace and liberty does crown, 
He apprehends no killing frown. 
      He feels no raptures which are joies diseas'd, 
      And is not much transported, but still pleas'd.

Line 2.  Toies: toys
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Orinda upon little Hector Philips

Twice forty months of Wedlock I did stay, 
Then had my vows crown'd with a Lovely boy, 
And yet in forty days he dropt away, 
O swift Visissitude of humane joy. 

I did but see him and he dis-appear'd, 
I did but pluck the Rose-bud and it fell, 
A sorrow unforeseen and scarcely fear'd, 
For ill can mortals their afflictions spell. 

And now (sweet Babe) what can my trembling heart 
Suggest to right my doleful fate or thee, 
Tears are my Muse and sorrow all my Art, 
So piercing groans must be thy Elogy. 

Thus whilst no eye is witness of my mone, 
I grieve thy loss (Ah boy too dear to live) 
And let the unconcerned World alone, 
Who neither will, nor can refreshment give. 

An Off'ring too for thy sad Tomb I have, 
Too just a tribute to thy early Herse, 
Receive these gasping numbers to thy grave, 
The last of thy unhappy Mothers Verse.

Title.  Hector Philips: Katherine Philips's only son, who died on May 2, 1655.
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 E-mail Ron Cooley at
 University of Saskatchewan
 Department of English
 Revised September 11, 1998