Katherine Philips

Joos de Momper. Helicon, or Minerva's Visit to the Muses
Joos de Momper.  Helicon, or Minerva's
Visit to the Muses
. [det.]. 17th-century.

To Mrs. M. A. at parting


I HAVE examin'd and do find,
    Of all that favour me,
There's none I grieve to leave behind
    But only, only thee.
To part with thee I needs must die,
Could parting sep'rate thee and I.


But neither Chance nor Compliment
    Did element our Love ;
'Twas sacred Sympathy was lent
    Us from the quire above.
That Friendship Fortune did create,
Still fears a wound from Time or Fate.


Our chang'd and mingled souls are grown
    To such acquaintance now,
That if each would resume their own,
    Alas ! we know not how.
We have each other so engrost,
That each is in the union lost.


And thus we can no Absence know,
    Nor shall we be confin'd ;
Our active souls will daily go
    To learn each other's mind.
Nay, should we never meet to Sense,
Our souls would hold Intelligence.


Inspired with a flame divine,
    I scorn to court a stay ;
For from that noble soul of thine
    I ne'er can be away.
But I shall weep when thou dost grieve ;
Nor can I die whilst thou dost live.

By my own temper I shall guess
    At thy felicity,
And only like my happiness
    Because it pleaseth thee.
Our hearts at any time will tell,
If thou, or I, be sick, or well.


All Honour sure I must pretend,
    All that is good or great ;
She that would be Rosania's Friend,
    Must be at least complete.
If I have any bravery,
'Tis cause I have so much of thee.


Thy leiger1 soul in me shall lie,
    And all thy thoughts reveal ;
Then back again with mine shall fly,
    And thence to me shall steal.
Thus still to one another tend ;
Such is the sacred Name of Friend.


Thus our twin-souls in one shall grow,
    And teach the World new love,
Redeem the age and sex, and show
    A flame Fate dares not move :
And courting Death to be our friend,
Our lives together too shall end.


A dew shall dwell upon our Tomb
    Of such a quality,
That fighting armies, thither come,
    Shall reconcilèd be.
We'll ask no Epitaph, but say

Philips, Katherine. Poems, 1678. in Minor Poets of the Caroline Period.
George Saintsbury, ed.
Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1905. 550-1.

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