Friendship’s Mystery,
To my dearest Lucasia

By Katherine Philips (“Orinda”)

Edited by Jack Lynch

The text comes from Philips’s Poems by the Most Deservedly Admired Mrs. Katherine Philips, the Matchless Orinda (1667). The notes are my own.


Come, my Lucasia, since we see
   That Miracles Mens faith do move,
By wonder and by prodigy— something monstrous or supernatural
   To the dull angry world let’s prove
   There’s a Religion in our Love. [5]


For though we were design’d t’agree,
   That Fate no liberty destroyes,
But our Election° is as free choice
   As Angels, who with greedy choice
   Are yet determin’d to their joyes. [10]


Our hearts are doubled by the loss,
   Here Mixture is Addition grown;
We both diffuse,° and both ingross:° spread out — amass
   And we whose minds are so much one,
   Never, yet ever are alone. [15]


We court° our own Captivity seek
   Than Thrones more great and innocent:
’Twere° banishment to be set free, it would be
   Since we wear fetters whose intent
   Not Bondage is, but Ornament. [20]


Divided joyes are tedious found,
   And griefs united easier grow:
We are our selves but by rebound,
   And all our Titles shuffled so,
   Both Princes, and both Subjects too. [25]


Our Hearts are mutual Victims laid,
   While they (such power in Friendship lies)
Are Altars, Priests, and Off’rings made:
   And each Heart which thus kindly dies,
   Grows deathless by the Sacrifice. [30]


Philips’s literary name for her friend Anne Owen.
Mixture is Addition grown
That is, mixing two things has caused them to become greater.