Monday, January 25, 2010

To My Excellent Lucasia, on Our Friendship

I did not live until this time
Crowned my felicity,
When I could say without a crime,
I am not thine, but thee.

This carcass breathed, and walked, and slept,
So that the world believed
There was a soul the motions kept;
But they were all deceived.

For as a watch by art is wound
To motion, such was mine:
But never had Orinda found
A soul till she found thine;

Which now inspires, cures and supplies,
And guides my darkened breast:
For thou art all that I can prize,
My joy, my life, my rest.

No bridegroom’s nor crown-conqueror’s mirth
To mine compared can be:
They have but pieces of the earth,
I’ve all the world in thee.

Then let our flames still light and shine,
And no false fear control,
As innocent as our design,
Immortal as our soul.
by Katherine Philips
One of the first women to acquire fame as a writer in England, Katherine Philips (1631-1664) addressed poems of love and companionship to the women in her circle, called “Society of Friendship.” She was known as “The Matchless Orinda” for the pseudonym she adopted within the group and as “the English Sappho” for her similarities to the ancient Greek poetess of Lesbos.


  1. I love how you write down everything I say and use poems appropriately and meaningfully. Thank you. The poem is beautiful, and you're a real pally.

  2. PS: I hope you noticed that I changed my profile picture on blogger to the picture you liked. I feel a little strange about it still, but I'm getting in touch with my inner fabulous.

  3. the profile picture is perfect. very proud of my Pally.

  4. And in regards to me remembering everything you say-- I am an editor. I look for good words and make them make sense all day. :) I know good writing when I see it. And you, my dear Pally, are excellent. Even in our daily correspondence.

  5. Oh! I was talking about the 'pretty brain' comment. Hehe. It makes me feel good. And--thank you--it means a lot that you think so. :-)