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Amarantha. A Pastorall

Up with the jolly bird of light
Who sounds his third retreat to night;
Faire Amarantha from her bed
Ashamed starts, and rises red
As the carnation-mantled morne,
Who now the blushing robe doth spurne,
And puts on angry gray, whilst she,
The envy of a deity,
Arayes her limbes, too rich indeed
To be inshrin'd in such a weed;
Yet lovely 'twas and strait, but fit;
Not made for her, but she to it:
By nature it sate close and free,
As the just bark unto the tree:
Unlike Love's martyrs of the towne,
All day imprison'd in a gown,
Who, rackt in silke 'stead of a dresse,
Are cloathed in a frame or presse,
And with that liberty and room,
The dead expatiate in a tombe.
  No cabinets with curious washes,
Bladders and perfumed plashes;
No venome-temper'd water's here,
Mercury is banished this sphere:
Her payle's all this, in which wet glasse
She both doth cleanse and view her face.
  Far hence, all Iberian smells,
Hot amulets, Pomander spells,
Fragrant gales, cool ay'r, the fresh
And naturall odour of her flesh,
Proclaim her sweet from th' wombe as morne.
Those colour'd things were made, not borne.
Which, fixt within their narrow straits,
Do looke like their own counterfeyts.
So like the Provance rose she walkt,
Flowerd with blush, with verdure stalkt;
Th' officious wind her loose hayre curles,
The dewe her happy linnen purles,
But wets a tresse, which instantly
Sol with a crisping beame doth dry.
  Into the garden is she come,
Love and delight's Elisium;
If ever earth show'd all her store,
View her discolourd budding floore;
Here her glad eye she largely feedes,
And stands 'mongst them, as they 'mong weeds;
The flowers in their best aray
As to their queen their tribute pay,
And freely to her lap proscribe
A daughter out of ev'ry tribe.
Thus as she moves, they all bequeath
At once the incense of their breath.
  The noble Heliotropian
Now turnes to her, and knowes no sun.
  And as her glorious face doth vary,
So opens loyall golden Mary
Who, if but glanced from her sight,
Straight shuts again, as it were night.
The violet (else lost ith' heap)
Doth spread fresh purple for each step,
With whose humility possest,
Sh' inthrones the Poore Girle in her breast:
The July-flow'r that hereto thriv'd,
Knowing her self no longer-liv'd,
But for one look of her upheaves,
Then 'stead of teares straight sheds her leaves.
  Now the rich robed Tulip who,
Clad all in tissue close, doth woe
Her (sweet to th' eye but smelling sower),
She gathers to adorn her bower.
  But the proud Hony-suckle spreads
Like a pavilion her heads,
Contemnes the wanting commonalty,
That but to two ends usefull be,
And to her lips thus aptly plac't,
With smell and hue presents her tast.
  So all their due obedience pay,
Each thronging to be in her way:
Faire Amarantha with her eye
Thanks those that live, which else would dye:
The rest, in silken fetters bound,
By crowning her are crown and crown'd.
  And now the sun doth higher rise,
Our Flora to the meadow hies:
The poore distressed heifers low,
And as sh' approacheth gently bow,
Begging her charitable leasure
To strip them of their milkie treasure.
  Out of the yeomanry oth' heard,
With grave aspect, and feet prepar'd,
A rev'rend lady-cow drawes neare,
Bids Amarantha welcome here;
And from her privy purse lets fall
A pearle or two, which seeme[s] to call
This adorn'd adored fayry
To the banquet of her dayry.
  Soft Amarantha weeps to see
'Mongst men such inhumanitie,
That those, who do receive in hay,
And pay in silver twice a day,
Should by their cruell barb'rous theft
Be both of that and life bereft.
  But 'tis decreed, when ere this dies,
That she shall fall a sacrifice
Unto the gods, since those, that trace
Her stemme, show 'tis a god-like race,
Descending in an even line
From heifers and from steeres divine,
Making the honour'd extract full
In Io and Europa's bull.
She was the largest goodliest beast,
That ever mead or altar blest;
Round [w]as her udder, and more white
Then is the Milkie Way in night;
Her full broad eye did sparkle fire;
Her breath was sweet as kind desire,
And in her beauteous crescent shone,
Bright as the argent-horned moone.
  But see! this whiteness is obscure,
Cynthia spotted, she impure;
Her body writheld, and her eyes
Departing lights at obsequies:
Her lowing hot to the fresh gale,
Her breath perfumes the field withall;
To those two suns that ever shine,
To those plump p
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Richard Lovelace

Richard Lovelace was an English poet more…

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