by Anne Killigrew
NExt Heaven my Vows to thee (O Sacred Muse! )
I offer'd up, nor didst thou them refuse.
O Queen of Verse, said I, if thou'lt inspire,
And warm my Soul with thy Poetique Fire,
No Love of Gold shall share with thee my Heart,
Or yet Ambition in my Brest have Part,
More Rich, more Noble I will ever hold
The Muses Laurel, than a Crown of Gold.
An Undivided Sacrifice I'le lay
Upon thine Altar, Soul and Body pay;
Thou shalt my Pleasure, my Employment be,
My All I'le make a Holocaust to thee.
The Deity that ever does attend
Prayers so sincere, to mine did condescend.
I writ, and the Judicious prais'd my Pen:
Could any doubt Insuing Glory then ?
What pleasing Raptures fill'd my Ravisht Sense ?
How strong, how Sweet, Fame, was thy Influence ?
And thine, False Hope, that to my flatter'd sight
Didst Glories represent so Near, and Bright ?
By thee deceiv'd, methought, each Verdant Tree,
Apollos transform'd Daphne seem'd to be;
And ev'ry fresher Branch, and ev'ry Bow
Appear'd as Garlands to empale my Brow.
The Learn'd in Love say, Thus the Winged Boy
Does first approach, drest up in welcome Joy;
At first he to the Cheated Lovers sight
Nought represents, but Rapture and Delight,
Alluring Hopes, Soft Fears, which stronger bind
Their Hearts, than when they more assurance find.
Embolden'd thus, to Fame I did commit,
(By some few hands) my most Unlucky Wit.
But, ah, the sad effects that from it came !
What ought t'have brought me Honour, brought me shame !
Like Esops Painted Jay I seem'd to all,
Adorn'd in Plumes, I not my own could call:
Rifl'd like her, each one my Feathers tore,
And, as they thought, unto the Owner bore.
My Laurels thus an Others Brow adorn'd,
My Numbers they Admir'd, but Me they scorn'd:
An others Brow, that had so rich a store
Of Sacred Wreaths, that circled it before;
Where mine quite lost, (like a small stream that ran
Into a Vast and Boundless Ocean)
Was swallow'd up, with what it joyn'd and drown'd,
And that Abiss yet no Accession found.
Orinda, (Albions and her Sexes Grace)
Ow'd not her Glory to a Beauteous Face,
It was her Radiant Soul that shon With-in,
Which struk a Lustre through her Outward Skin;
That did her Lips and Cheeks with Roses dy,
Advanc't her Height, and Sparkled in her Eye.
Nor did her Sex at all obstruct her Fame,
But higher 'mong the Stars it fixt her Name;
What she did write, not only all allow'd,
But ev'ry Laurel, to her Laurel, bow'd !
Th'Envious Age, only to Me alone,
Will not allow, what I do write, my Own,
But let 'em Rage, and 'gainst a Maide Conspire,
So Deathless Numbers from my Tuneful Lyre
Do ever flow; so Phebus I by thee
Divinely Inspired and possest may be;
I willingly accept Cassandras Fate,
To speak the Truth, although believ'd too late
Last updated May 02, 2015