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Best Famous Katherine Philips Poems

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12
Written by Katherine Philips | Create an image from this poem

The World

 Wee falsely think it due unto our friends,
That we should grieve for their too early ends:
He that surveys the world with serious eys,
And stripps Her from her grosse and weak disguise,
Shall find 'tis injury to mourn their fate;
He only dy's untimely who dy's Late.
For if 'twere told to children in the womb, To what a stage of mischief they must come Could they foresee with how much toile and sweat Men court that Guilded nothing, being Great; What paines they take not to be what they seem, Rating their blisse 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 misse, And so farre from agreeing what it is, That the same Person we can hardly find, Who is an houre together in a mind; Sure they would beg a period of their breath, And what we call their birth would count their Death.
Mankind is mad; for none can live alone Because their joys stand by comparison: And yet they quarrell at Society, And strive to kill they know not whom, nor why, We all live by mistake, delight in Dreames, Lost to ourselves, and dwelling in extreames; Rejecting what we have, though ne're so good, And prizing what we never understood.
compar'd to our boystrous inconstancy Tempests are calme, 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 soule, which no man's pow'r can reach, a thing That makes each women Man, each man a King.
Doth so much loose, and from its height so fall, That some content to have no Soule at all.
"Tis either not observ'd, or at the best By passion fought withall, by sin deprest.
Freedome of will (god's image) is forgot; And if we know it, we improve it not.
Our thoughts, thou nothing can be more our own, Are still unguided, verry seldom known.
Time 'scapes our hands as water in a Sieve, We come to dy ere we begin to Live.
Truth, the most suitable and noble Prize, Food of our spirits, yet neglected ly's.
Errours and shaddows ar our choice, and we Ow 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 who plod on, and eat, and drink, Have nothing less their business then to think; And those few that enquire, how small a share Of Truth they fine! how dark their notions are! That serious evenness that calmes the Brest, And in a Tempest can bestow a rest, We either not attempt, or elce [sic] decline, By every triffle 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 man slaverys content, As there are Tyrants ready to Torment, We live upon a Rack, extended still To one extreme, or both, but always ill.
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 than fasts.
And to compleat the misery to us, We see extreames 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 strengthen'd by us) we find Our fortune as disordred as our mind.
But that's excus'd by this, it doth its part; A treacherous world befits a treacherous heart.
All ill's our own; the outward storms we loath Receive from us their birth, or 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 doeth save.
'Tis good not to be born; but if we must, The next good is, soone to return to Dust: When th'uncag'd soule, fled to Eternity, Shall rest and live, and sing, and love, and See.
Here we but crawle and grope, and 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.
Written by Katherine Philips | Create an image from this poem

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.
Written by Katherine Philips | Create an image from this poem

On the Welch Language

If honor to an ancient name be due,
Or riches challenge it for one that's new,
The British language claims in either sense
Both for its age, and for its opulence.
But all great things must be from us removed, To be with higher reverence beloved.
So landskips which in prospects distant lie, With greater wonder draw the pleasèd eye.
Is not great Troy to one dark ruin hurled? Once the fam'd scene of all the fighting world.
Where's Athens now, to whom Rome learning owes, And the safe laurels that adorned her brows? A strange reverse of fate she did endure, Never once greater, than she's now obscure.
Even Rome her self can but some footsteps show Of Scipio's times, or those of Cicero.
And as the Roman and the Grecian state, The British fell, the spoil of time and fate.
But though the language hath the beauty lost, Yet she has still some great remains to boast, For 'twas in that, the sacred bards of old, In deathless numbers did their thoughts unfold.
In groves, by rivers, and on fertile plains, They civilized and taught the listening swains; Whilst with high raptures, and as great success, Virtue they clothed in music's charming dress.
This Merlin spoke, who in his gloomy cave, Even Destiny her self seemed to enslave.
For to his sight the future time was known, Much better than to others is their own; And with such state, predictions from him fell, As if he did decree, and not foretell.
This spoke King Arthur, who, if fame be true, Could have compelled mankind to speak it too.
In this one Boadicca valor taught, And spoke more nobly than her soldiers fought: Tell me what hero could be more than she, Who fell at once for fame and liberty? Nor could a greater sacrifice belong, Or to her children's, or her country's wrong.
This spoke Caractacus, who was so brave, That to the Roman fortune check he gave: And when their yoke he could decline no more, He it so decently and nobly wore, That Rome her self with blushes did believe, A Britain would the law of honor give; And hastily his chains away she threw, Lest her own captive else should her subdue.
Written by Katherine Philips | Create an image from this poem

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.
Written by Katherine Philips | Create an image from this poem

La Solitude de St. Amant

 1

O! Solitude, my sweetest choice
Places devoted to the night,
Remote from tumult, and from noise,
How you my restless thoughts delight!
O Heavens! what content is mine,
To see those trees which have appear'd
From the nativity of Time,
And which hall ages have rever'd,
To look to-day as fresh and green,
As when their beauties first were seen!


2

A cheerful wind does court them so,
And with such amorous breath enfold,
That we by nothing else can know,
But by their hieght that they are old.
Hither the demi-gods did fly To seek the sanctuary, when Displeased Jove once pierc'd the sky, To pour a deluge upon men, And on these boughs themselves did save, When they could hardly see a wave.
3 Sad Philomel upon this thorn, So curiously by Flora dress'd, In melting notes, her case forlorn, To entertain me, hath confess'd.
O! how agreeable a sight These hanging mountains do appear, Which the unhappy would invite To finish all their sorrows here, When their hard fate makes them endure Such woes, as only death can cure.
4 What pretty desolations make These torrents vagabond and fierce, Who in vast leaps their springs forsake, This solitary Vale to pierce.
Then sliding just as serpents do Under the foot of every tree, Themselves are changed to rivers too, Wherein some stately Nayade, As in her native bed, is grown A queen upon a crystal throne.
5 This fen beset with river-plants, O! how it does my sense charm! Nor elders, reeds, nor willows want, Which the sharp steel did never harm.
Here Nymphs which come to take the air, May with such distaffs furnish'd be, As flags and rushes can prepare, Where we the nimble frogs may see, Who frighted to retreat do fly If an approaching man they spy.
6 Here water-flowl repose enjoy, Without the interrupting care, Lest Fortune should their bliss destroy By the malicious fowler's snare.
Some ravish'd with so bright a day, Their feathers finely prune and deck; Others their amorous heats allay, Which yet the waters could not check: All take their innocent content In this their lovely element.
7 Summer's, nor Winter's bold approach, This stream did never entertain; Nor ever felt a boat or coach, Whilst either season did remain.
No thirsty traveller came near, And rudely made his hand his cup; Nor any hunted hind hath here Her hopeless life resigned up; Nor ever did the treacherous hook Intrude to empty any brook.
8 What beauty is there in the sight Of these old ruin'd castle-walls Of which the utmost rage and spight Of Time's worst insurrection falls? The witches keep their Sabbath here, And wanton devils make retreat.
Who in malicious sport appear, Our sense both to afflict and cheat; And here within a thousand holes Are nest of adders and of owls.
9 The raven with his dismal cries, That mortal augury of Fate, Those ghastly goblins ratifies, Which in these gloomy places wait.
On a curs'd tree the wind does move A carcase which did once belong To one that hang'd himself for love Of a fair Nymph that did him wrong, Who thought she saw his love and truth, With one look would not save the youth.
10 But Heaven which judges equally, And its own laws will still maintain, Rewarded soon her cruelty With a deserv'd and mighty pain: About this squalid heap of bones, Her wand'ring and condemned shade, Laments in long and piercing groans The destiny her rigour made, And the more to augment her right, Her crime is ever in her sight.
11 There upon antique marbles trac'd, Devices of past times we see, Here age ath almost quite defac'd, What lovers carv'd on every tree.
The cellar, here, the highest room Receives when its old rafters fail, Soil'd with the venom and the foam Of the spider and the snail: And th'ivy in the chimney we Find shaded by a walnut tree.
12 Below there does a cave extend, Wherein there is so dark a grot, That should the Sun himself descend, I think he could not see a jot.
Here sleep within a heavy lid In quiet sadness locks up sense, And every care he does forbid, Whilst in arms of negligence, Lazily on his back he's spread, And sheaves of poppy are his bed.
13 Within this cool and hollow cave, Where Love itself might turn to ice, Poor Echo ceases not to rave On her Narcissus wild and nice: Hither I softly steal a thought, And by the softer music made With a sweet lute in charms well taught, Sometimes I flatter her sad shade, Whilst of my chords I make such choice, They serve as body to her voice.
14 When from these ruins I retire, This horrid rock I do invade, Whose lofty brow seems to inquire Of what materials mists are made: From thence descending leisurely Under the brow of this steep hill It with great pleasure I descry By waters undermin'd, until They to Palaemon's seat did climb, Compos'd of sponges and of slime.
15 How highly is the fancy pleas'd To be upon the Ocean's shore, When she begins to be appeas'd And her fierce billows cease to roar! And when the hairy Tritons are Riding upon the shaken wave, With what strange sounds they strike the air Of their trumpets hoarse and brave, Whose shrill reports does every wind Unto his due submission bind! 16 Sometimes the sea dispels the sand, Trembling and murmuring in the bay, And rolls itself upon the shells Which it both brings and takes away.
Sometimes exposed on the strand, Th'effect of Neptune's rage and scorn, Drown'd men, dead monsters cast on land, And ships that were in tempests torn, With diamonds and ambergreece, And many more such things as these.
17 Sometimes so sweetly she does smile, A floating mirror she might be, And you would fancy all that while New Heavens in her face to see: The Sun himself is drawn so well, When there he would his picture view, That our eye can hardly tell Which is the false Sun, which the true; And lest we give our sense the lie, We think he's fallen from the sky.
18 Bernieres! for whose beloved sake My thoughts are at a noble strife, This my fantastic landskip take, Which I have copied from the life.
I only seek the deserts rough, Where all alone I love to walk, And with discourse refin'd enough, My Genius and the Muses talk; But the converse most truly mine, Is the dear memory of thine.
19 Thou mayst in this Poem find, So full of liberty and heat, What illustrious rays have shin'd To enlighten my conceit: Sometimes pensive, sometimes gay, Just as that fury does control, And as the object I survey The notions grow up in my soul, And are as unconcern'd and free As the flame which transported me.
20 O! how I Solitude adore, That element of noblest wit, Where I have learnt Apollo's lore, Without the pains to study it: For thy sake I in love am grown With what thy fancy does pursue; But when I think upon my own, I hate it for that reason too.
Because it needs must hinder me From seeing, and from serving thee.
Written by Katherine Philips | Create an image from this poem

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.
Written by Katherine Philips | Create an image from this poem

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.
Written by Katherine Philips | Create an image from this poem

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.
Written by Katherine Philips | Create an image from this poem

Arion to a Dolphin On His Majestys 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 C?sar's here; 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, 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.
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.
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.
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; 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.
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.
Written by Katherine Philips | Create an image from this poem

In memory of that excellent person Mrs. Mary Lloyd of Bodidrist in Denbigh-shire

 I CANNOT hold, for though to write were rude, 
Yet to be silent were Ingratitude, 
And Folly too; for if Posterity 
Should never hear of such a one as thee, 
And onely know this Age's brutish fame, 
They would think Vertue nothing but a Name.
And though far abler Pens must her define, Yet her Adoption hath engaged mine: And I must own where Merit shines so clear, 'Tis hard to write, but harder to forbear.
Sprung from an ancient and an honour'd Stem, Who lent her lustre, and she paid it them; Who still in great and noble things appeared, Whom all their Country lov'd, and yet they feared.
Match'd to another good and great as they, Who did their Country both oblige and sway.
Behold herself, who had without dispute More then both Families could contribute.
What early Beauty Grief and Age had broke, Her lovely Reliques and her Off-spring spoke.
She was by nature and her Parents care A Woman long before most others are.
But yet that antedated2 season she Improv'd to Vertue, not to Liberty.
For she was still in either state of life Meek as a Virgin, Prudent as a Wife And she well knew, although so young and fair, Justly to mix Obedience Love and Care; Whil'st to her Children she did still appear So wisely kind, so tenderly severe, That they from her Rule and Example brought A native Honour, which she stampt and taught.
Nor can a single Pen enough commend So kind a Sister and so clear a Friend.
A Wisdom from above did her secure, Which as 'twas peaceable, was ever pure.
And if well-order'd Commonwealths must be Patterns for every private Family, Her House, rul'd by her hand and by her eye, Might be a Pattern for a Monarchy.
Solomon's wisest Woman less could do; She built her house, but this preserv'd hers too.
She was so pious that when she did die, She scarce chang'd Place, I'm sure not Company.
Her Zeal was primitive and practick too; She did believe, and pray, and read, and do.
A firm and equal Soul she had engrost, Just ev'n to those that disoblig'd her most.
She grew to love those wrongs she did receive For giving her the power to Forgive.
Her Alms I may admire, but not relate; But her own works shall praise her in the gate.
Her Life was checquer'd with afflictive years, And even her Comfort season'd in her Tears.
Scarce for a Husband's loss her eyes were dried, And that loss by her Children half supplied, When Heav'n was pleas'd not these dear Propes' afford, But tore most off by sickness or by sword.
She, who in them could still their Father boast, Was a fresh Widow every Son she lost.
Litigious hands did her of Right deprive, That after all 'twas Penance to survive.
She still these Griefs hath nobly undergone, Which few support at all, but better none.
Such a submissive Greatness who can find? A tender Heart with so resolv'd a Mind? But she, though sensible, was still the same, Of a resigned Soul, untainted Fame, Nor were her Vertues coarsly set, for she Out-did Example in Civility.
To bestow blessings, to oblige, relieve, Was all for which she could endure to live.
She had a joy higher in doing good, Than they to whom the benefit accru'd.
Though none of Honour had a quicker sense, Never had Woman more of complacence; Yet lost it not in empty forms, but still Her Nature noble was, her Soul gentile.
And as in Youth she did attract, (for she The Verdure had without the Vanity) So she in Age was mild and grave to all, Was not morose, but was majestical.
Thus from all other Women she had skill To draw their good, but nothing of their ill.
And since she knew the mad tumultuous World, Saw Crowns revers'd, Temples to ruine hurl'd; She in Retirement chose to shine and burn, As a bright Lamp shut in some Roman Urn.
At last, when spent with sickness, grief and age, Her Guardian Angel did her death presage: (So that by strong impulse she chearfully Dispensed blessings, and went home to die; That so she might, when to that place removed, Marry his Ashes whom she ever loved) She dy'd, gain'd a reward, and paid a debt.
The Sun himself did never brighter set.
Happy were they that knew her and her end, More happy they that did from her descend: A double blessing they may hope to have, One she convey'd to them, and one she gave.
All that are hers are therefore sure to be Blest by Inheritance and Legacy.
A Royal Birth had less advantage been.
'Tis more to die a Saint than live a Queen.
12