To My Lucasia

Katherine Philips

Edited by Jack Lynch

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

Let dull Philosophers enquire no more
In Nature’s womb, or Causes strive t’explore,
By what strange harmony and course of things
Each body to the whole a tribute brings;
What secret unions secret Neighbourings make, [5]
And of each other how they do partake.
These are but low Experiments: but he
That Nature’s harmony intire would see,
Must search agreeing Souls, sit down and view
How sweet the mixture is, how full, how true; [10]
By what soft touches Spirits greet and kiss,
And in each other can complete their bliss.
A wonder so sublime, it will admit
No rude Spectator to contemplate it.
The Object will refine, and he that can [15]
Friendship revere must be a noble man.
How much above the common rate of things
Must they then be from whom this Union springs?
But what’s all this to me, who live to be
Disprover of my own Morality? [20]
And he that knew my unimproved Soul,
Would say I meant all Friendship to controul.
But Bodies move in time, and so must Minds;
And though th’attempt no easie progress finds,
Yet quit me not, lest I should desp’rate grow, [25]
And to such Friendship adde some Patience now.
O may good Heav’n but so much Vertue lend,
To make me fit to be Lucasia’s Friend!
But I’le forsake my self, and seek a new
Self in her breast that’s for more rich and true. [30]
Thus the poor Bee unmark’d doth hum and flye,
And droan’d with age would unregarded dye,
Unless some lucky drop of precious Gum
Do bless the Insect with an Amber-tomb.
Then glorious in its funeral the Bee [35]
Gets Eminence, and gets Eternity.