>> / William Cartwright

. Poems of William Cartwright



/ William Cartwright, (1611 1643)



Still do the stars impart their light
To those that travel in the night;
Still time runs on, nor doth the hand
Or shadow on the dial stand;
The streams still glide and constant are:
Only thy mind
Untrue I find,
Which carelessly
Neglects to be
Like stream or shadow, hand or star.

Fool that I am! I do recall
My words, and swear thou'rt like them all,
Thou seem'st like stars to nourish fire,
But O how cold is thy desire!
And like the hand upon the brass
Thou point'st at me
In mockery;
If I come nigh
Shade-like thou'lt fly,
And as the stream with murmur pass.


No Platonic Love

Tell me no more of minds embracing minds,
And hearts exchang'd for hearts;
That spirits spirits meet, as winds do winds,
And mix their subt'lest parts;
That two unbodied essences may kiss,
And then like Angels, twist and feel one Bliss.

I was that silly thing that once was wrought
To practise this thin love;
I climb'd from sex to soul, from soul to thought;
But thinking there to move,
Headlong I rolled from thought to soul, and then
From soul I lighted at the sex again.

As some strict down-looked men pretend to fast,
Who yet in closets eat;
So lovers who profess they spririts taste,
Feed yet on grosser meat;
I know they boast they souls to souls convey,
Howe'r they meet, the body is the way.

Come, I will undeceive thee, they that tread
Those vain aerial ways
Are like young heirs and alchemists misled
To waste their wealth and days,
For searching thus to be for ever rich,
They only find a med'cine for the itch.


On a Virtuous Young Gentlewoman that died suddenly

She who to Heaven more Heaven doth annex,
Whose lowest thought was above all our sex,
Accounted nothing death but t' be reprieved,
And died as free from sickness as she lived.
Others are dragg'd away, or must be driven,
She only saw her time and stept to Heaven;
Where seraphims view all her glories o'er,
As one return'd that had been there before.
For while she did this lower world adorn,
Her body seem'd rather assumed than born;
So rarified, advanced, so pure and whole,
That body might have been another's soul;
And equally a miracle it were
That she could die, or that she could live here.


On the Queen's Return from the Low Countries

Hallow the threshold, crown the posts anew!
The day shall have its due.
Twist all our victories into one bright wreath,
On which let honour breathe;
Then throw it round the temples of our Queen!
'Tis she that must preserve those glories green.

When greater tempests than on sea before
Received her on the shore;
When she was shot at 'for the King's own good'
By legions hired to blood;
How bravely did she do, how bravely bear!
And show'd, though they durst rage, she durst not fear.

Courage was cast about her like a dress
Of solemn comeliness:
A gather'd mind and an untroubled face
Did give her dangers grace:
Thus, arm'd with innocence, secure they move
Whose highest 'treason' is but highest love.


The Dead Sparrow

Tell me not of joy: there's none
Now my little Sparrow's gone;
He, just as you,
Would try and woo,
He would chirp and flatter me;
He would hang the wing awhile,
Till at length he saw me smile,
Lord, how sullen he would be!

He would catch a crumb, and then
Sporting, let it go again;
He from my lip
Would moisture sip;
He would from my trencher feed;
Then would hop, and then would run,
And cry Philip when he'd done,
whose heart can choose but bleed?

O how eager would he fight,
And ne'er hurt, though he did bite.
No morn did pass,
But on my glass
He would sit, and mark and do
What I did now ruffle all
His feathers o'er, now let them fall;
And straightway sleek them too.

Whence will Cupid get his darts
Feathered now to pierce our hearts?
A wound he may
Not, Love, convey,
Now this faithful bird is gone
let mournful turtles join,
With loving redbreasts, and combine
To sing dirges o'er his stone.


To Chloe,Who for his sake wished herself younger

There are two births; the one when light
First strikes the new awaken'd sense;
The other when two souls unite,
And we must count our life from thence:
When you loved me and I loved you
Then both of us were born anew.

Love then to us new souls did give
And in those souls did plant new powers;
Since when another life we live,
The breath we breathe is his, not ours:
Love makes those young whom age doth chill,
And whom he finds young keeps young still.



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