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To Lucasta, From Prison
I. Long in thy shackels, liberty I ask not from these walls, but thee; Left for awhile anothers bride, To fancy all the world beside. II. Yet e're I doe begin to love, See, how I all my objects prove; Then my free soule to that confine, 'Twere possible I might call mine. III. First I would be in love with peace, And her rich swelling breasts increase; But how, alas! how may that be, Despising earth, she will love me? IV. Faine would I be in love with war, As my deare just avenging star; But War is lov'd so ev'rywhere, Ev'n he disdaines a lodging here. V. Thee and thy wounds I would bemoane, Faire thorough-shot religion; But he lives only that kills thee, And who so bindes thy hands, is free. VI. I would love a parliment As a maine prop from Heav'n sent; But ah! who's he, that would be wedded To th' fairest body that's beheaded? VII. Next would I court my liberty, And then my birth-right, property; But can that be, when it is knowne, There's nothing you can call your owne? VIII. A reformation I would have, As for our griefes a sov'raigne salve; That is, a cleansing of each wheele Of state, that yet some rust doth feele. IX. But not a reformation so, As to reforme were to ore'throw, Like watches by unskilfull men Disjoynted, and set ill againe. X. The publick faith I would adore, But she is banke-rupt of her store: Nor how to trust her can I see, For she that couzens all, must me. XI. Since then none of these can be Fit objects for my love and me; What then remaines, but th' only spring Of all our loves and joyes, the King? XII. He who, being the whole ball Of day on earth, lends it to all; When seeking to ecclipse his right, Blinded we stand in our owne light. XIII. And now an universall mist Of error is spread or'e each breast, With such a fury edg'd as is Not found in th' inwards of th' abysse. XIV. Oh, from thy glorious starry waine Dispense on me one sacred beame, To light me where I soone may see How to serve you, and you trust me!
Richard Lovelace's other poems:
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