Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO THE STATE OF LOVE; OR THE SENSES' FESTIVAL, by JOHN CLEVELAND



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TO THE STATE OF LOVE; OR THE SENSES' FESTIVAL, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I saw a vision yesternight
Last Line: Who would not die upon the spot?
Subject(s): Love


I SAW a vision yesternight,
Enough to sate a Seeker's sight;
I wished myself a Shaker there,
And her quick pants my trembling sphere.
It was a she so glittering bright,
You'd think her soul an Adamite;
A person of so rare a frame,
Her body might be lined with' same.
Beauty's chiefest maid of honour,
You may break Lent with looking on her.
Not the fair Abbess of the skies,
With all her nunnery of eyes,
Can show me such a glorious prize!

And yet, because 'tis more renown
To make a shadow shine, she's brown;
A brown for which Heaven would disband
The galaxy, and stars be tanned;
Brown by reflection as her eye
Deals out the summer's livery.
Old dormant windows must confess
Her beams; their glimmering spectacles,
Struck with the splendour of her face,
Do th' office of a burning-glass.
Now where such radiant lights have shown,
No wonder if her cheeks be grown
Sunburned, with lustre of her own.

My sight took pay, but (thank my charms!)
I now impale her in mine arms;
(Love's compasses confining you,
Good angels, to a circle too.)
Is not the universe strait-laced
When I can clasp it in the waist?
My amorous folds about thee hurled,
With Drake I girdle in the world;
I hoop the firmament, and make
This, my embrace, the zodiac.
How would thy centre take my sense
When admiration doth commence
At the extreme circumference?

Now to the melting kiss that sips
The jellied philtre of her lips;
So sweet there is no tongue can praise't
Till transubstantiate with a taste.
Inspired like Mahomet from above
By th' billing of my heavenly dove,
Love prints his signets in her smacks,
Those ruddy drops of squeezing wax,
Which, wheresoever she imparts,
They're privy seals to take up hearts.
Our mouths encountering at the sport,
My slippery soul had quit the fort,
But that she stopped the sally-port.

Next to these sweets, her lips dispense
(As twin conserves of eloquence)
The sweet perfume her breath affords,
Incorporating with her words.
No rosary this vot'ress needs --
Her very syllables are beads;
No sooner 'twixt those rubies born,
But jewels are in ear-rings worn.
With what delight her speech doth enter;
It is a kiss o' th' second venter.
And I dissolve at what I hear,
As if another Rosamond were
Couched in the labyrinth of my ear.

Yet that's but a preludious bliss,
Two souls pickeering in a kiss.
Embraces do but draw the line,
'Tis storming that must take her in.
When bodies join and victory hovers
'Twixt the equal fluttering lovers,
This is the game; make stakes, my dear!
Hark, how the sprightly chanticleer
(That Baron Tell-clock of the night)
Sounds boutesel to Cupid's knight.
Then have at all, the pass is got,
For coming off, oh, name it not!
Who would not die upon the spot?





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