Katherine Philips

Nicholas Poussin. Bacchanal of the Andrians, 1630. [Detail]
Nicholas Poussin. Bacchanal of the Andrians, 1630. [detail]

A retir'd Friendship. To

COME, my Ardelia, to this Bower,
     Where kindly mingling souls awhile,
Let's innocently spend an hour,
     And at all serious follies smile.

Here is no quarrelling for crowns,
     Nor fear of changes in our fate;
No trembling at the Great One's frowns
     Nor any slavery of state.

Here's no disguise nor treachery,
     Nor any deep conceal'd design;
From blood and plots this place is free,
     And calm as are those looks of thine.

Here let us sit and bless our stars,
     Who did such happy quiet give,
As that remov'd from noise of wars,
     In one another's hearts we live.

We should we entertain a fear?
     Love cares not how the world is turn'd:
If crowds of dangers should appear,
     Yet Friendship can be unconcern'd.

We wear about us such a charm,
     No horror can be our offence;
For mischief's self can do no harm
     To Friendship or to Innocence.

Let's mark how soon Apollo's beams
     Command the flocks to quit their meat,
And not entreat the neighbouring streams
     To quench their thirst, but cool their heat.

In such a scorching age as this,
     Who would not ever seek a shade,
Deserve their happiness to miss,
     As having their own peace betray'd.

But we (of one another's mind
     Assur'd) the boisterous World disdain;
With quiet souls and unconfin'd
     Enjoy what Princes wish in vain.

Philips, Katherine. Poems, 1678.
in Minor Poets of the Caroline Period.
George Saintsbury, ed.
Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1905. 524.

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