by Richard Lovelace
In the nativity of time,
Chloris! it was not thought a crime
In direct Hebrew for to woe.
Now wee make love, as all on fire,
Ring retrograde our lowd desire,
And court in English backward too.
Thrice happy was that golden age,
When complement was constru'd rage,
And fine words in the center hid;
When cursed NO stain'd no maid's blisse,
And all discourse was summ'd in YES,
And nought forbad, but to forbid.
Love then unstinted love did sip,
And cherries pluck'd fresh from the lip,
On cheeks and roses free he fed;
Lasses, like Autumne plums, did drop,
And lads indifferently did drop
A flower and a maiden-head.
Then unconfined each did tipple
Wine from the bunch, milk from the nipple;
Paps tractable as udders were.
Then equally the wholsome jellies
Were squeez'd from olive-trees and bellies:
Nor suits of trespasse did they fear.
A fragrant bank of strawberries,
Diaper'd with violets' eyes,
Was table, table-cloth and fare;
No palace to the clouds did swell,
Each humble princesse then did dwell
In the Piazza of her hair.
Both broken faith and th' cause of it,
All-damning gold, was damn'd to th' pit;
Their troth seal'd with a clasp and kisse,
Lasted until that extreem day,
In which they smil'd their souls away,
And in each other breath'd new blisse.
Because no fault, there was no tear;
No grone did grate the granting ear,
No false foul breath, their del'cat smell.
No serpent kiss poyson'd the tast,
Each touch was naturally chast,
And their mere Sense a Miracle.
Naked as their own innocence,
And unembroyder'd from offence,
They went, above poor riches, gay;
On softer than the cignet's down,
In beds they tumbled off their own:
For each within the other lay.
Thus did they live: thus did they love,
Repeating only joyes above,
And angels were but with cloaths on,
Which they would put off cheerfully,
To bathe them in the Galaxie,
Then gird them with the heavenly zone.
Now, Chloris! miserably crave
The offer'd blisse you would not have,
Which evermore I must deny:
Whilst ravish'd with these noble dreams,
And crowned with mine own soft beams,
Injoying of my self I lye.
Last updated January 14, 2019