Steps to the Temple: Delights of the Muses, and Other Poems

By Richard Crashaw; A. R. Waller | Go to book overview

FROM BRITISH MUSEUM

ADDITIONAL MS. 33,219.

AT th' Ivory Tribunall of your hand
(Faire one) these tender leaves doe trembling stand.
Knowing 'tis in the doome of your sweet Eye
Whether the Muse they cloth shall live or die.
Live shee, or dye to Fame; each Leafe you meet
Is her Lifes wing, or her death's winding-sheet.

T Hough now 'tis neither May nor June
And Nightingales are out of tune,
Yet in these leaves (Faire one) there lyes
(Sworne servant to your sweetest Eyes)
A Nightingale, who may shee spread
In your white bosome her chast bed,
Spite of all the Maiden snow
Those pure untroden pathes can show,
You streight shall see her wake and rise
Taking fresh Life from your fayre Eyes.
And with clasp't winges proclayme a Spring
Where Love and shee shall sit and sing:
For lodg'd so ne're your sweetest throte
What Nightingale can loose her noate?
Nor lett her kinred birds complayne
Because shee breakes the yeares old raigne:
For lett them know shee's none of those
Hedge-Quiristers whose Musicke owes
Onely such straynes as serve to keepe
Sad shades and sing dull Night asleepe.
No shee's a Priestesse of that Grove
The holy chappell of chast Love
Your Virgin bosome. Then what e're
Poore Lawes divide the publicke yeare,
Whose revolutions wait upon
The wild turnes of the wanton Sun;
Bee you the Lady of Loves Yeere:
Where your Eyes shine his Suns appeare:
There all the yeare is Loves long Spring.
There all the year Loves Nightingales
shall sitt and sing.

-364-

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