Verse > Anthologies > Herbert J.C. Grierson, ed. > Metaphysical Lyrics & Poems of the 17th c.
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Herbert J.C. Grierson, ed. (1886–1960). Metaphysical Lyrics & Poems of the 17th C.  1921.
 
Richard Crashaw
 
45. Wishes
To his (supposed) Mistresse
 
WHO ere she be, 
That not impossible she 
That shall command my heart and me; 
  
Where ere she lye, 
Lock't up from mortall Eye,         5
In shady leaves of Destiny; 
  
Till that ripe Birth 
Of studied fate stand forth, 
And teach her faire steps to our Earth; 
  
Till that Divine  10
Idæa, take a shrine 
Of Chrystall flesh, through which to shine; 
  
Meet you her my wishes, 
Bespeake her to my blisses, 
And be ye call'd my absent kisses.  15
  
I wish her Beauty, 
That owes not all his Duty 
To gaudy Tire, or glistring shoo-ty. 
  
Something more than 
Taffata or Tissew can,  20
Or rampant feather, or rich fan. 
  
More than the spoyle 
Of shop, or silkewormes Toyle, 
Or a bought blush, or a set smile. 
  
A face thats best  25
By its owne beauty drest, 
And can alone command the rest. 
  
A face made up, 
Out of no other shop 
Than what natures white hand sets ope.  30
  
A cheeke where Youth, 
And Blood, with Pen of Truth 
Write, what the Reader sweetly ru'th. 
  
A Cheeke where growes 
More than a Morning Rose:  35
Which to no Boxe his being owes. 
  
Lipps, where all Day 
A lovers kisse may play, 
Yet carry nothing thence away. 
  
Lookes that oppresse  40
Their richest Tires, but dresse 
And cloath their simplest Nakednesse. 
  
Eyes, that displaces 
The Neighbour Diamond, and out-faces 
That Sunshine, by their own sweet Graces.  45
  
Tresses, that weare 
Jewells, but to declare 
How much themselves more pretious are. 
  
Whose native Ray, 
Can tame the wanton Day  50
Of Gems, that in their bright shades play. 
  
Each Ruby there, 
Or Pearle that dare appeare, 
Be its own blush, be its own Teare. 
  
A well tam'd Heart,  55
For whose more noble smart, 
Love may be long chusing a Dart. 
  
Eyes, that bestow 
Full quivers on loves Bow; 
Yet pay lesse Arrowes than they owe.  60
  
Smiles, that can warme 
The blood, yet teach a charme, 
That Chastity shall take no harme. 
  
Blushes, that bin 
The burnish of no sin,  65
Nor flames of ought too hot within. 
  
Joyes, that confesse, 
Vertue their Mistresse, 
And have no other head to dresse. 
  
Feares, fond and slight,  70
As the coy Brides, when Night 
First does the longing Lover right. 
  
Teares, quickly fled, 
And vaine, as those are shed 
For a dying Maydenhead.  75
  
Dayes, that need borrow, 
No part of their good Morrow, 
From a fore spent night of sorrow. 
  
Dayes, that in spight 
Of Darkenesse, by the Light  80
Of a cleere mind are Day all Night. 
  
Nights, sweet as they, 
Made short by Lovers play, 
Yet long by th' absence of the Day. 
  
Life, that dares send  85
A challenge to his end, 
And when it comes say Welcome Friend. 
  
Sydnæan showers 
Of sweet discourse, whose powers 
Can Crown old Winters head with flowers.  90
  
Soft silken Hours, 
Open sunnes, shady Bowers; 
'Bove all, Nothing within that lowers. 
  
What ere Delight 
Can make Dayes forehead bright,  95
Or give Downe to the Wings of Night. 
  
In her whole frame, 
Have Nature all the Name, 
Art and ornament the shame. 
  
Her flattery, 100
Picture and Poesy, 
Her counsell her owne vertue be. 
  
I wish, her store 
Of worth may leave her poore 
Of wishes; And I wish——No more. 105
  
Now if Time knowes 
That her whose radiant Browes 
Weave them a Garland of my vowes, 
  
Her whose just Bayes, 
My future hopes can raise, 110
A trophie to her present praise; 
  
Her that dares be, 
What these Lines wish to see: 
I seeke no further, it is she. 
  
'Tis she, and here 115
Lo I uncloath and cleare, 
My wishes cloudy Character. 
  
May she enjoy it, 
Whose merit dare apply it, 
But Modesty dares still deny it. 120
  
Such worth as this is 
Shall fixe my flying wishes, 
And determine them to kisses. 
  
Let her full Glory, 
My fancyes, fly before ye, 125
Be ye my fictions; But her story. 
 
 
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