Katherine Philips

Simon Vouet. Parnassus, or Apollo and the Muses. 1640. [detail]
Simon Vouet. Parnassus, or Apollo and the Muses. 1640. [det.]

Friendship's mystery. To my dearest Lucasia

Come, my Lucasia, since we see
    That miracles men's faith do move,
By wonder and by prodigy
    To the dull angry world let's prove
    There's a religion in our love.

For though we were designed t' agree,
    That fate no liberty destroys,
But our election is as free
    As angels', who with greedy choice
    Are yet determined to their joys.         10

Our hearts are doubled by the loss,
    Here mixture is addition grown ;
We both diffuse and both engross,
    And we whose minds are so much one,
    Never, yet ever, are alone.

We court our own captivity,
    Than thrones more great and innocent ;
`Twere banishment to be set free,
    Since we wear fetters whose intent
    Not bondage is, but ornament.           20

Divided joys are tedious found,
    And griefs united easier grow ;
We are ourselves but by rebound,
    And all our titles shuffled so,
    Both princes, and both subjects too.

Our hearts are mutual victims laid,
    While they, such power in friendship lies,
Are altars, priests, and off'rings made ;
And each heart which thus kindly dies
Grows deathless by the sacrifice.            30

Poetry of the English Renaissance 1509-1660.
J. William Hebel and Hoyt H. Hudson, Eds.
New York: F. S. Crofts & Co., 1941. 869-870.

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