Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE TRIUMPHS OF PHILAMORE AND AMORET; TO CHARLES COTTON, by RICHARD LOVELACE



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THE TRIUMPHS OF PHILAMORE AND AMORET; TO CHARLES COTTON, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Sir, your sad absence I complain, as earth
Last Line: Who have said naught, since I could say no more.


SIR, your sad absence I complain, as earth
Her long-hid Spring, that gave her verdures birth,
Who now her cheerful aromatic head
Shrinks in her cold and dismal widow'd bed;
Whilst the false sun, her lover, doth him move
Below, and to th'Antipodes make love.
What fate was mine, when in mine obscure cave
(Shut up almost close prisoner in a grave)
Your beams could reach me through this vault of night,
And canton the dark dungeon with light!
Whence me, as gen'rous spahis, you unbound,
Whilst I now know myself both free and crown'd.
But as, at Mecca's tomb, the devout blind
Pilgrim, great husband of his sight and mind,
Pays to no other object this chaste price,
Then with hot earth anoints out both his eyes:
So, having seen your dazzling glories' store,
Is it enough, and sin for to see more?

Or do you thus those precious rays withdraw
To whet my dull beams, keep my bold in awe?
Or are you gentle and compassionate,
You will not reach me Regulus his fate?
Brave prince who, eagle-ey'd of eagle kind,
Wert blindly damn'd to look thine own self blind!
But oh, return those fires, too cruel nice!
For whilst you fear me cinders, see! I'm ice;
A numbed speaking clod, and mine own show,
Myself congeal'd, a man cut out in snow.
Return those living fires, thou who that vast
Double advantage from one-ey'd heav'n hast;
Look with one sun, though't but obliquely be,
And if not shine, vouchsafe to wink on me.
Perceive you not a gentle, gliding heat,
And quick'ning warmth that makes the statua sweat?
As rev'rend Deucalion's back-flung stone,
Whose rough outside softens to skin, anon
Each crusty vein with wet red is suppli'd,
Whilst naught of stone but in its heart doth bide:
So from the rugged North, where your soft stay
Hath stamp'd them a meridian, and kind day;
Where now each àa la mode inhabitant
Himself and's manners both do pay you rent,
And'bout your house (your palace) doth resort,
And'spite of fate and war creates a court:
So from the taught North when you shall return
To glad those looks that ever since did mourn,
When men unclothed of themselves you'll see,
Then start new made, fit, what they ought to be;
Haste! haste! you that your eyes on rare sights feed,
For thus the golden triumph is decreed.
The twice-born god, still gay and ever young,
With ivy crown'd, first leads the glorious throng:
He Ariadne's starry coronet
Designs for th'brighter beams of Amoret;
Then doth he broach his throne, and singing quaff
Unto her health his pipe of godhead off.
Him follow the recanting, vexing Nine,
Who, wise, now sing thy lasting fame in wine;
Whilst Phœbus not from th'East, your feast t'adorn,
But from th'inspir'd Canaries rose this morn.
Now you are come, winds in their caverns sit,

And nothing breathes but new-enlarged wit.
Hark! one proclaims it piacle to be sad,
And th'people call't religion to be mad.
But now, as at a coronation,
When noise, the guard, and trumpets are o'erblown,
The silent commons mark their prince's way,
And with still reverence both look and pray;
So they, amaz'd, expecting do adore,
And count the rest but pageantry before.
Behold! an host of virgins, pure as th'air,
In her first face, ere mists durst veil her hair,
Their snowy vests white as their whiter skin,
Or their far chaster whiter thoughts within.
Roses they breath'd and strew'd, as if the fine
Heaven did to Earth his wreath of sweets resign;
They sang aloud, Thrice, oh thrice happy, they
That can, like these, in love both yield and sway!
Next Herald Fame (a purple cloud her bears)
In an embroider'd coat of eyes and ears,
Proclaims the triumph, and these lovers' glory;
Then in a book of steel records the story.
And now a youth of more than godlike form
Did th'inward minds of the dumb throng alarm;
All nak'd, each part betray'd unto the eye,
Chastely, for neither sex ow'd he or she.
And this was Heav'nly Love. By his bright hand,
A boy of worse than earthly stuff did stand,
His bow broke, his fires out, and his wings clipp'd,
And the black slave from all his false flames stripp'd;
Whose eyes were new restor'd but to confess
This day's bright bliss and his own wretchedness;
Who, swell'd with envy, bursting with disdain,
Did cry to cry, and weep them out again.
And now what heav'n must I invade, what sphere
Rifle of all her stars t' enthrone her there?
No, Phœbus, by thy boy's fate we beware
Th'unruly flames o'th' firebrand, thy car;
Although, she there once plac'd, thou, Sun, shouldst see
Thy day both nobler governed and thee.
Drive on, Boötes, thy cold heavy wain,
Then grease thy wheels with amber in the main;
And, Neptune, thou to thy false Thetis gallop,
Apollo's set within thy bed of scallop;

Whilst Amoret, on the reconciled winds
Mounted, is drawn by six celestial minds;
She armed was with innocence, and fire
That did not burn, for it was chaste desire;
Whilst a new light doth gild the standers by:
Behold! it was a day shot from her eye!
Chafing perfumes o'th' East did throng and sweat,
But by her breath they melting back were beat.
A crown of yet ne'er lighted stars she wore,
In her soft hand a bleeding heart she bore,
And round her lay millions of broken more;
Then a wing'd crier thrice aloud did call,
"Let Fame proclaim this one great prize for all."
By her a lady that might be call'd fair---
And justly, but that Amoret was there---
Was pris'ner led; th'unvalu'd robe she wore
Made infinite lay-lovers to adore,
Who vainly tempt her rescue (madly bold),
Chained in sixteen thousand links of gold;
Chrysetta thus, loaden with treasures, slave,
Did strow the pass with pearls, and her way pave.
But lo! the glorious cause of all this high
True heav'nly state, brave Philamore draws nigh!
Who, not himself, more seems himself to be,
And with a sacred ecstasy doth see.
Fix'd and unmov'd on's pillars he doth stay,
And joy transforms him his own statua;
Nor hath he pow'r to breathe, or strength to greet
The gentle offers of his Amoret,
Who now amaz'd at's noble breast doth knock,
And with a kiss his gen'rous heart unlock;
Whilst she and the whole pomp doth enter there,
Whence her nor Time nor Fate shall ever tear.
But whither am I hurl'd? Ho! Back! Awake
From thy glad trance; to thine old sorrow take!
Thus, after view of all the Indies' store,
The slave returns unto his chain and oar;
Thus poets, who all night in blest heav'ns dwell,
Are call'd next morn to their true living hell;
So I unthrifty, to myself untrue,
Rise cloth'd with real wants,'cause wanting you,
And what substantial riches I possess
I must to these unvalu'd dreams confess.

But all our clouds shall be o'erblown, when thee
In our horizon, bright, once more we see;
When thy dear presence shall our souls new dress,
And spring an universal cheerfulness;
When we shall be o'erwhelm'd in joy, like they
That change their night for a vast half-year's day.
Then shall the wretched few that do repine
See; and recant their blasphemies in wine;
Then shall they grieve that thought I've sung too free,
High and aloud, of thy true worth and thee,
And their foul heresies and lips submit
To th'all-forgiving breath of Amoret,
And me alone their anger's object call,
That from my height so miserably did fall;
And cry out my invention thin and poor,
Who have said naught, since I could say no more.





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