Richard Lovelace

(1618-1657 / London / England)

Ode - Poem by Richard Lovelace

I.
You are deceiv'd; I sooner may, dull fair,
Seat a dark Moor in Cassiopea's chair,
Or on the glow-worm's uselesse light
Bestow the watching flames of night,
Or give the rose's breath
To executed death,
Ere the bright hiew
Of verse to you;
It is just Heaven on beauty stamps a fame,
And we, alas! its triumphs but proclaim.

II.
What chains but are too light for me, should I
Say that Lucasta in strange arms could lie?
Or that Castara were impure;
Or Saccarisa's faith unsure?
That Chloris' love, as hair,
Embrac'd each en'mies air;
That all their good
Ran in their blood?
'Tis the same wrong th' unworthy to inthrone,
As from her proper sphere t' have vertue thrown.

III.
That strange force on the ignoble hath renown;
As AURUM FULMINANS, it blows vice down.
'Twere better (heavy one) to crawl
Forgot, then raised, trod on [to] fall.
All your defections now
Are not writ on your brow;
Odes to faults give
A shame must live.
When a fat mist we view, we coughing run;
But, that once meteor drawn, all cry: undone.

IV.
How bright the fair Paulina did appear,
When hid in jewels she did seem a star!
But who could soberly behold
A wicked owl in cloath of gold,
Or the ridiculous Ape
In sacred Vesta's shape?
So doth agree
Just praise with thee:
For since thy birth gave thee no beauty, know,
No poets pencil must or can do so.


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Read poems about / on: beauty, birth, faith, star, rose, hair, light, heaven, ode, dark, death, night, running



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002



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