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Best Famous Katherine Philips Poems

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by Katherine Philips | |

Against Love

 Hence Cupid! with your cheating toys, 
Your real griefs, and painted joys, 
Your pleasure which itself destroys.
Lovers like men in fevers burn and rave, And only what will injure them do crave.
Men's 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 joys diseased, And is not much transported, but still pleased.


by Katherine Philips | |

To One Persuading A Lady To Marriage

 Forbear, bold youth; all 's heaven here,
 And what you do aver
To others courtship may appear,
 'Tis sacrilege to her.
She is a public deity; And were 't not very odd She should dispose herself to be A petty household god? First make the sun in private shine And bid the world adieu, That so he may his beams confine In compliment to you: But if of that you do despair, Think how you did amiss To strive to fix her beams which are More bright and large than his.


by Katherine Philips | |

To My Excellent Lucasia On Our Friendship

 I did not live until this time
Crown'd my felicity,
When I could say without a crime,
I am not thine, but thee.
This carcass breath'd, and walkt, and slept, So that the world believe'd There was a soul the motions kept; But they were all deceiv'd.
For as a watch by art is wound To motion, such was mine: But never had Orinda found A soul till she found thine; Which now inspires, cures and supplies, And guides my darkened breast: For thou art all that I can prize, My joy, my life, my rest.
No bridegroom's nor crown-conqueror's mirth To mine compar'd can be: They have but pieces of the earth, I've all the world in thee.
Then let our flames still light and shine, And no false fear controul, As innocent as our design, Immortal as our soul.


by Katherine Philips | |

To My Antenor

 My dear Antenor now give o're,
For my sake talk of Graves no more;
Death is not in our power to gain,
And is both wish'd and fear'd in vain
Let's be as angry as wee will,
Grief sooner may distract then kill,
And the unhappy often prove
Death is as coy a thing as Love.
Those whose own sword their death did give, Afraid were or asham'd to Live; And by an act so desperate, Did poorly run away from fate; 'Tis braver much t'out-ride the storm, Endure its rages and shun his harm; Affliction nobly undergone, More Greatness shews than having none.
But yet the Wheel in turning round, At last may lift us from the ground, And when our Fortune's most severe, The less we have, the less we fear.
And why should we that grief permit, Which can nor mend nor shorten it? Let's wait for a succeeding good, Woes have their Ebb as well as flood: And since Parliament have rescu'd you, Believe that Providence will do so too.


by Katherine Philips | |

LAmitie: To Mrs. M. Awbrey.

 Soule of my soule! my Joy, my crown, my friend! 
A name which all the rest doth comprehend; 
How happy are we now, whose sols are grown, 
By an incomparable mixture, One: 
Whose well acquainted minds are not as neare 
As Love, or vows, or secrets can endeare.
I have no thought but what's to thee reveal'd, Nor thou desire that is from me conceal'd.
Thy heart locks up my secrets richly set, And my breast is thy private cabinet.
Thou shedst no teare but what but what my moisture lent, And if I sigh, it is thy breath is spent.
United thus, what horrour can appeare Worthy our sorrow, anger, or our feare? Let the dull world alone to talk and fight And with their vast ambitions nature fright; Let them despise so innocent a flame, While Envy, pride, and faction play their game: But we by Love sublim'd so high shall rise, To pitty Kings, and Conquerours despise, Since we that sacred union have engrost, Which they and all the sullen world have lost.


by Katherine Philips | |

Epitaph on her Son H. P.

 WHat on Earth deserves our trust ?
Youth and Beauty both are dust.
Long we gathering are with pain, What one moment calls again.
Seven years childless, marriage past, A Son, a son is born at last : So exactly lim'd and fair.
Full of good Spirits, Meen, and Air, As a long life promised, Yet, in less than six weeks dead.
Too promising, too great a mind In so small room to be confin'd : Therefore, as fit in Heav'n to dwell, He quickly broke the Prison shell.
So the subtle Alchimist, Can't with Hermes Seal resist The powerful spirit's subtler flight, But t'will bid him long good night.
And so the Sun if it arise Half so glorious as his Eyes, Like this Infant, takes a shrowd, Buried in a morning Cloud.


by Katherine Philips | |

Orinda upon Little Hector Philips

 Twice forty months of Wedlock did I 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.


by Katherine Philips | |

6th April 1651 LAmitie: To Mrs. M. Awbrey

 Soule of my soule! my Joy, my crown, my friend!
A name which all the rest doth comprehend;
How happy are we now, whose sols are grown,
By an incomparable mixture, One:
Whose well acquainted minds are not as neare
As Love, or vows, or secrets can endeare.
I have no thought but what's to thee reveal'd, Nor thou desire that is from me conceal'd.
Thy heart locks up my secrets richly set, And my breast is thy private cabinet.
Thou shedst no teare but what but what my moisture lent, And if I sigh, it is thy breath is spent.
United thus, what horrour can appeare Worthy our sorrow, anger, or our feare? Let the dull world alone to talk and fight And with their vast ambitions nature fright; Let them despise so innocent a flame, While Envy, pride, and faction play their game: But we by Love sublim'd so high shall rise, To pitty Kings, and Conquerours despise, Since we that sacred union have engrost, Which they and all the sullen world have lost.