Katherine Philips


Love, nature's plot, this great creation's soul,
    The being and the harmony of things,
Doth still preserve and propagate the whole,
    From whence man's happiness and safety springs:
The earliest, whitest, blessed'st times did draw
From her alone their universal law.

Friendship's an abstract of this noble flame,
    'Tis love refined and purged from all its dross,
The next to angels' love, if not the same,
    As strong in passion is, though not so gross:
It antedates a glad eternity,
And is an heaven in epitome.

        *        *        *        *        *

Essential honour must be in a friend,
    Not such as every breath fans to and fro;
But born within, is its own judge and end,
    And dares not sin though sure that none should know.
Where friendship's spoke, honesty's understood;
For none can be a friend that is not good.

        *        *        *        *        *

Thick waters show no images of things;
    Friends are each other's mirrors, and should be
Clearer than crystal or the mountain springs,
    And free from clouds, design, or flattery.
For vulgar souls no part of friendship share;
Poets and friends are born to what they are.

Specimens of the British Poets.
Thomas Campbell, Ed.
London: John Murray, 1844. 212.

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