Richard Crashaw

Richard Crashaw Poems

TO these whom death again did wed
This grave 's the second marriage-bed.
For though the hand of Fate could force
'Twixt soul and body a divorce,

The world's light shines, shine as it will,
The world will love its darkness still.

THY restless feet now cannot go
   For us and our eternal good,
As they were ever wont. What though
   They swim, alas! in their own flood?

Thou water turn'st to wine, fair friend of life,
Thy foe, to cross the sweet arts of thy reign,
Distills from thence the tears of wrath and strife,

Lord, when the sense of thy sweet grace
Sends up my soul to seek thy face.
Thy blessed eyes breed such desire,
I dy in love’s delicious Fire.

LO here a little volume, but great Book
A nest of new-born sweets;
Whose native fires disdaining
To ly thus folded, and complaining

Know you fair, on what you look;
Divinest love lies in this book,
Expecting fire from your eyes,
To kindle this his sacrifice.

Let it no longer be a forlorn hope
To wash an Ethiope;
He's wash'd, his gloomy skin a peaceful shade,
For his white soul is made;

Come we shepherds whose blest sight
Hath met love's noon in nature's night;
Come lift we up our loftier song

See here an easy feast that knows no wound,
That under hunger's teeth will needs be sound;
A subtle harvest of unbounded bread,

Now westward Sol had spent the richest beams
Of noon's high glory, when, hard by the streams
Of Tiber, on the scene of a green plat,

LOVE, thou are absolute, sole Lord
Of life and death. To prove the word,
We'll now appeal to none of all
Those thy old soldiers, great and tall,

Wouldst see blithe looks, fresh cheeks beguile
Age? wouldst see December smile?
Wouldst see nests of new roses grow
In a bed of reverend snow?

I would be married, but I'd have no wife ;
I would be married to a single life.

Tell me, bright boy, tell me, my golden lad,
Whither away so frolic ? why so glad ?
What all thy wealth in council ? all thy state ?

Lord, what is man? why should he cost Thee
So dear? what had his ruin lost Thee?
Lord, what is man, that Thou hast over-bought

HAIL, sister springs,
Parents of silver-footed rills!
   Ever bubbling things,
Thawing crystal, snowy hills!

Richard Crashaw Biography

Richard Crashaw (c. 1613 – 21 August 1649), was an English poet, teacher, Anglican cleric and Catholic convert, who was among the major figures associated with the metaphysical poets in seventeenth-century English literature. Crashaw was the son of a famous Anglican divine with Puritan beliefs who earned a reputation as a hard-hitting pamphleteer and polemicist against Roman Catholicism. After his father's death, Crashaw was educated at Charterhouse School and Pembroke College, Cambridge. After taking a degree, Crashaw taught as a fellow at Peterhouse, Cambridge and began to publish religious poetry that expressed a distinct mystical nature and an ardent Christian faith. Crashaw was ordained as a clergyman in the Church of England and in his theology and practice embraced and the High Church ritual reforms enacted by Archbishop Laud. Rev. Crashaw's became infamous among English Puritans for his use of religious art to decorate his church, for his devotion to the Virgin Mary, for his use of Catholic vestments, and for many other reasons. During these years, however, the University of Cambridge was a hotbed for such practices and for Royalist politics. Adherents of both positions were violently persecuted by Puritan forces during and after the English Civil War (1642–1651). When Puritan General Oliver Cromwell seized control of the city in 1643, Crashaw was ejected from his post and became a refugee in France and in the Papal States. He found employment as an attendant to Cardinal Giovanni Battista Maria Pallotta at Rome. While in exile he converted from Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism. In April 1649, Cardinal Pallotta appointed Crashaw to a minor benefice as canon of the Shrine of the Holy House at Loreto where he died suddenly four months later. Crashaw's poetry, although often categorised with those of the contemporary English metaphysical poets, exhibits similarities with the Baroque poets and influenced in part by the works of Italian and Spanish mystics. It draws parallels "between the physical beauties of nature and the spiritual significance of existence". His work is said to be marked by a focus toward "love with the smaller graces of life and the profounder truths of religion, while he seems forever preoccupied with the secret architecture of things".)

The Best Poem Of Richard Crashaw

An Epitaph Upon Husband And Wife

TO these whom death again did wed
This grave 's the second marriage-bed.
For though the hand of Fate could force
'Twixt soul and body a divorce,
It could not sever man and wife,
Because they both lived but one life.
Peace, good reader, do not weep;
Peace, the lovers are asleep.
They, sweet turtles, folded lie
In the last knot that love could tie.
Let them sleep, let them sleep on,
Till the stormy night be gone,
And the eternal morrow dawn;
Then the curtains will be drawn,
And they wake into a light
Whose day shall never die in night.

Richard Crashaw Comments

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