Katherine Phillips

FRIENDSHIP (1664)

Let the dull brutish World that know not Love
Continue Hereticks, and disapprove
That noble Flame; but the refined know
‘Tis all the Heaven we have here below.
Nature subsists by Love, and they do tie
Things to their Causes but by Sympathy.
Love chains the different Elements in one
Great Harmony, link’d to the Heav’nly Throne.
And as on Earth, so the blest Quire above
Of Saints and Angels are maintain’d by Love;
That is their Business and Felicity,
And will be so to all Eternity.
That is the Ocean, our Affections here
Are but streams borrow’d from the Fountain there.
And ‘tis the noblest Argument to prove
A Beauteous mind, that it knows how to Love.
Those kind Impressions which Fate can’t controul,
Are Heaven’s mintage on a worthy Soul.
For Love is all the Arts Epitome,
And is the Sum of all Divinity.
He’s worse then Beast that cannot Love, and yet
It is not bought for Money, Pains or Wit;
For no change or design can Spirits move,
But the Eternal destiny of Love:
And when two Souls are chang’d and mixed so,
It is what they and none but they can doe.
This, this is Friendship, that abstracted flame
Which groveling Mortals know not how to name,
All Love is sacred, and the Marriage-tie
Hath much of Honour and Divinity.
But Lust, Design, or some unworthy ends
May mingle there, which are despis’d by Friends.
Passion hath violent extreams, and thus
All oppositions are contiguous.
So when the end is serv’d their Love will bate,
If Friendship make it not more fortunate:
Friendship, that Love’s Elixir, that pure fire
Which burns the clearer ‘cause it burns the higher,
For Love, like earthly fires (which will decay
If the material fuel be away)
Is with offensive smoke accompanied,
And by resistance only is supplied:
But Friendship, like the fiery Element,
With its own Heat and Nourishment content,
Where neither hurt, nor smoke, nor noise is made,
Scorns the assistance of a forein aid.
Friendship (like Heraldry) is hereby known,
Richest when plainest, bravest when alone,
Calm as a Virgin, and more Innocent
Then sleeping Doves are, and as much content
As Saints in Visions; quiet as the Night,
But clear and open as the Summer’s light;
United more then Spirits Faculties,
Higher in thoughts then are the Eagle’s eyes;
Free as first Agents are, true Friends and kind,
As but their selves I can no likeness find.

Katherine Phillips

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Early Modern. Bookmark the permalink.