Amyntor's Grove, His Chloris, Arigo, And Gratiana. An Elogie
Poem by Richard Lovelace
It was Amyntor's Grove, that Chloris
For ever ecchoes, and her glories;
Chloris, the gentlest sheapherdesse,
That ever lawnes and lambes did blesse;
Her breath, like to the whispering winde,
Was calme as thought, sweet as her minde;
Her lips like coral gates kept in
The perfume and the pearle within;
Her eyes a double-flaming torch
That alwayes shine, and never scorch;
Her selfe the Heav'n in which did meet
The all of bright, of faire and sweet.
Here was I brought with that delight
That seperated soules take flight;
And when my reason call'd my sence
Back somewhat from this excellence,
That I could see, I did begin
T' observe the curious ordering
Of every roome, where 'ts hard to know,
Which most excels in sent or show.
Arabian gummes do breathe here forth,
And th' East's come over to the North;
The windes have brought their hyre of sweet
To see Amyntor Chloris greet;
Balme and nard, and each perfume,
To blesse this payre, chafe and consume;
And th' Phoenix, see! already fries!
Her neast a fire in Chloris eyes!
Next the great and powerful hand
Beckens my thoughts unto a stand
Of Titian, Raphael, Georgone
Whose art even Nature hath out-done;
For if weake Nature only can
Intend, not perfect, what is man,
These certainely we must prefer,
Who mended what she wrought, and her;
And sure the shadowes of those rare
And kind incomparable fayre
Are livelier, nobler company,
Then if they could or speake, or see:
For these I aske without a tush,
Can kisse or touch without a blush,
And we are taught that substance is,
If uninjoy'd, but th' shade of blisse.
Now every saint cleerly divine,
Is clos'd so in her severall shrine;
The gems so rarely, richly set,
For them wee love the cabinet;
So intricately plac't withall,
As if th' imbrordered the wall,
So that the pictures seem'd to be
But one continued tapistrie.
After this travell of mine eyes
We sate, and pitied Dieties;
Wee bound our loose hayre with the vine,
The poppy, and the eglantine;
One swell'd an oriental bowle
Full, as a grateful, loyal soule
To Chloris! Chloris! Heare, oh, heare!
'Tis pledg'd above in ev'ry sphere.
Now streight the Indians richest prize
Is kindled in glad sacrifice;
Cloudes are sent up on wings of thyme,
Amber, pomgranates, jessemine,
And through our earthen conduicts sore
Higher then altars fum'd before.
So drencht we our oppressing cares,
And choakt the wide jawes of our feares.
Whilst ravisht thus we did devise,
If this were not a Paradice
In all, except these harmlesse sins:
Behold! flew in two cherubins,
Cleare as the skye from whence they came,
And brighter than the sacred flame;
The boy adorn'd with modesty,
Yet armed so with majesty,
That if the Thunderer againe
His eagle sends, she stoops in vaine.
Besides his innocence he tooke
A sword and casket, and did looke
Like Love in armes; he wrote but five,
Yet spake eighteene; each grace did strive,
And twenty Cupids thronged forth,
Who first should shew his prettier worth.
But oh, the Nymph! Did you ere know
Carnation mingled with snow?
Or have you seene the lightning shrowd,
And straight breake through th' opposing cloud?
So ran her blood; such was its hue;
So through her vayle her bright haire flew,
And yet its glory did appeare
But thinne, because her eyes were neere.
Blooming boy, and blossoming mayd,
May your faire sprigges be neere betray'd
To eating worme or fouler storme;
No serpent lurke to do them harme;
No sharpe frost cut, no North-winde teare,
The verdure of that fragrant hayre;
But may the sun and gentle weather,
When you are both growne ripe together,
Load you with fruit, such as your Father
From you with all the joyes doth gather:
And may you, when one branch is dead,
Graft such another in its stead,
Lasting thus ever in your prime,
'Till th' sithe is snatcht away from Time.
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