Richard Lovelace

(1618-1657 / London / England)

A Guiltlesse Lady Imprisoned: After Penanced. Song


I.
Heark, faire one, how what e're here is
Doth laugh and sing at thy distresse;
Not out of hate to thy reliefe,
But joy t' enjoy thee, though in griefe.

II.
See! that which chaynes you, you chaine here;
The prison is thy prisoner;
How much thy jaylor's keeper art!
He bindes your hands, but you his heart.

III.
The gyves to rase so smooth a skin,
Are so unto themselves within;
But, blest to kisse so fayre an arme,
Haste to be happy with that harme;

IV.
And play about thy wanton wrist,
As if in them thou so wert drest;
But if too rough, too hard they presse,
Oh, they but closely, closely kisse.

V.
And as thy bare feet blesse the way,
The people doe not mock, but pray,
And call thee, as amas'd they run
Instead of prostitute, a nun.

VI.
The merry torch burnes with desire
To kindle the eternall fire,
And lightly daunces in thine eyes
To tunes of epithalamies.

VII.
The sheet's ty'd ever to thy wast,
How thankfull to be so imbrac't!
And see! thy very very bonds
Are bound to thee, to binde such hands.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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