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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 | |

A Retird Friendship

 Come, my Ardelia, to this bowre,
Where kindly mingling Souls a while,
Let's innocently spend an houre,
And at all serious follys smile

Here is no quarrelling for Crowns,
Nor fear of changes in our fate;
No trembling at the Great ones frowns
Nor any slavery of state.
Here's no disguise, nor treachery Nor any deep conceal'd design; From blood and plots this place is free, And calm as are those looks of thine.
Here let us sit and bless our Starres Who did such happy quiet give, As that remov'd from noise of warres.
In one another's hearts we live.
We should we entertain a feare? Love cares not how the world is turn'd.
If crouds of dangers should appeare, Yet friendship can be unconcern'd.
We weare about us such a charme, No horrour can be our offence; For misheif's self can doe no harme To friendship and to innocence.
Let's mark how soone Apollo's beams Command the flocks to quit their meat, And not intreat the neighbour -- streams To quench their thirst, but coole their heat.
In such a scorching Age as this, Whoever would not seek a shade Deserve their happiness to misse, As having their own peace betray'd.
But we (of one another's mind Assur'd,) the boistrous world disdain; With quiet souls, and unconfin'd, Enjoy what princes wish in vain.


by Katherine Philips | |

Friendships Mystery To My Dearest Lucasia

 Come, my Lucasia, since we see 
That miracles Men's Faith do move,
By wonder 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 destroys, But our Election is as free As Angels, who with greedy choice Are yet determin'd to their joys.
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 court our own Captivity Than Thrones more great and innocent: `Twere banishment to be set free, Since we wear fetters whose intent Not Bondage is but Ornament Divided joys 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.


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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 dear Sister Mrs. C. P. on her Nuptial

 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.
2.
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; And that strong Happiness may she still find Not owing to her Fortune, but her Mind.
3.
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.
4.
May nothing accidental e're appear But what shall with new bonds their Souls endear; 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.


by Katherine Philips | |

In Memory of F.P.

 If I could ever write a lasting verse,
It should be laid, deare Sainte, upon thy herse.
But Sorrow is no muse, and doth confesse That it least can what most it would expresse.
Yet, that I may some bounds to griefe allow, I'le try if I can weepe in numbers now.
Ah beauteous blossom! too untimely dead! Whither, ah whither is thy sweetness fled? Where are the charmes that allwayes did arise From the prevailing languadge [sic] of thine eyes? Where is thy modest aire and lovely meen, And all the wonders that in these were seen? Alas! in vaine! In vaine on three I rave; There is no pitty in the stupid grave .
.
.
Never, ah never let glad parents guesse At one remove of future happinesse, But reckon children 'mong those passing joys, Which one hour gives, and the next hour destroyes.
Alas! we were secure of our content, But find too late that it was onely lent, To be a mirrour wherein we might see How fraile we are, how innocent should be.
But if to thy blest soule my griefe appeares, Forgive and pitty these injurious teares; Impute them to affection's sad excesse, Which will not yeild to nature's tendernesse, Since 'twas through dearest tyes and highest trust Continu'd from thy cradle to thy dust; And so rewarded and confirm'd by thine, (wo is me!) I thought thee too much mine.
But I'le resigne, and follow thee as fast As my unhappy minutes will make hast.
Till when, the fresh remembrances of thee Shall be my emblem of mortalitie.
For such a loss as thine, bright soule, is not Ever to be repaired, or forgot.


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 | |

To Mrs. M. A. at Parting

 I Have examin'd and do find,
Of all that favour me
There's none I grieve to leave behind
But only only thee.
To part with thee I needs must die, Could parting sep'rate thee and I.
But neither Chance nor Complement Did element our Love ; 'Twas sacred Sympathy was lent Us from the Quire above.
That Friendship Fortune did create, Still fears a wound from Time or Fate.
Our chang'd and mingled Souls are grown To such acquaintance now, That if each would resume their own, Alas ! we know not how.
We have each other so engrost, That each is in the Union lost.
And thus we can no Absence know, Nor shall we be confin'd ; Our active Souls will daily go To learn each others mind.
Nay, should we never meet to Sense, Our Souls would hold Intelligence.
Inspired with a Flame Divine I scorn to court a stay ; For from that noble Soul of thine I ne're can be away.
But I shall weep when thou dost grieve ; Nor can I die whil'st thou dost live.
By my own temper I shall guess At thy felicity, And only like my happiness Because it pleaseth thee.
Our hearts at any time will tell If thou, or I, be sick, or well.
All Honour sure I must pretend, All that is Good or Great ; She that would be Rosania's Friend, Must be at least compleat.
If I have any bravery, 'Tis cause I have so much of thee.
Thy Leiger Soul in me shall lie, And all thy thoughts reveal ; Then back again with mine shall flie, And thence to me shall steal.
Thus still to one another tend ; Such is the sacred name of Friend.
Thus our twin-Souls in one shall grow, And teach the World new Love, Redeem the Age and Sex, and shew A Flame Fate dares not move : And courting Death to be our friend, Our Lives together too shall end.
A Dew shall dwell upon our Tomb Of such a quality, That fighting Armies, thither come, Shall reconciled be.
We'll ask no Epitaph, but say ORINDA and ROSANIA.


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.


by Katherine Philips | |

To Mr. Vaughan Silurist on His Poems

 Had I ador'd the multitude, and thence
Got an antipathy to wit and sence,
And hug'd that fate, in hope the world would grant
'Twas good -- affection to be ignorant;
Yet the least ray of thy bright fancy seen
I had converted, or excuseless been:
For each birth of thy muse to after-times
Shall expatiate for all this age's crimes.
First shines the Armoret, twice crown'd by thee, Once by they Love, next by Poetry; Where thou the best of Unions dost dispence: Truth cloth'd in wit, and Love in innocence.
So that the muddyest Lovers may learn here, No fountains can be sweet that are not clear.
Then Juvenall reviv'd by thee declares How flat man's Joys are, and how mean his cares; And generously upbraids the world that they Should such a value for their ruine pay.
But when thy sacred muse diverts her quill, The Lantskip to design of Zion-Hill;32 As nothing else was worthy her or thee, So we admire almost t'Idolatry.
What savage brest would not be rapt to find Such Jewells insuch Cabinets enshrind'? Thou (fill'd with joys too great to see or count) Descend'st from thence like Moses from the Mount, And with a candid, yet unquestioned aw, Restorlst the Golden Age when Verse was Law.
Instructing us, thou so secur'st thy fame, That nothing can distrub it but my name; Nay I have hoped that standing so near thine 'Twill lose its drosse, and by degrees refine .
.
.
"Live, till the disabused world consent All truths of use, or strength, or ornament, Are with such harmony by thee displaid, As the whole world was first by number made And from the charming rigour thy Muse brings Learn there's no pleasure but in serious things.