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Thomas Randolph (Томас Рэндольф)

An Elegy

Love, give me leave to serve thee and be wise,
To keep thy torch in but restore blind eyes.
I will a flame into my bosom take
That martyrs court when they embrace the stake:
Not dull and smoky fired, but heat divine,
That burns to consume but to refine.
I have a mistress for perfections rare
In every eye, but in my thoughts most fair.
Like tapers on the altar shine her eyes;
Her breath is the perfume of sacrifice.
And wheresoe'er my fancy would begin,
Still her perfection lets religion in.
I touch her like my beads with devout care,
And come unto my courtship as my prayer.
We sit and talk and kiss away the hours,
As chastely as the morning dews kiss flowers.
Go, wanton lover, spare thy sighs and tears,
Put on the livery which thy dotage wears,
And call it love; where heresy gets in
Zeal's but a coal to kindle greater sin.
We wear no flesh, but one another greet,
As blessed souls in separation meet.
Were't possible that my ambitious sin
Durst commit rapes upon a Cherubin,
I might have lustful thoughts to her, of all
Earth's heavenly quire the most angelical.
Looking into my breast, her form I find
That like my guardian angel keeps my mind
From rude attempts; and when affections stir,
I calm all passions with one thought of her.
Thus they whose reasons love, and not their sense,
The spirits love: thus one intelligence
Reflects upon his like, and by chaste loves
In the same sphere this and that angel moves.
Nor is this barren love; one noble thought
Begets another, and that still is brought
To bed of more; virtues and grace increase,
And such a numerous issue ne'er can cease,
Where children, though great blessings, only be
Pleasures reprieved to some posterity.
Beasts love like men, if men in lust delight,
And call that love which is but appetite.
When essence meets with essence, and souls join
In mutual knots, that's the true nuptial twine:
Such, Lady, is my love, and such is true;
All other love is to your sex, not you.

Thomas Randolph's other poems:
  1. On Six Cambridge Lasses Bathing Themselves
  2. Fairy Song
  3. A Devout Lover
  4. Upon His Picture
  5. Даме, восхищенно глядящей на свое отражение в зеркалеTo a Lady Admiring Herself in a Looking-Glass

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