Verse > Anthologies > J. C. Squire, ed. > A Book of Women’s Verse
J. C. Squire, ed.  A Book of Women’s Verse.  1921.
Upon the Saying that My Verses were made by Another
By Anne Killigrew (1661?–1685)
NEXT heaven, my vows to thee, O sacred Muse!
I offered up, nor didst thou them refuse.
O Queen of verse, said I, if thou’lt inspire,
And warm my soul with thy poetic fire,
No love of gold shall share with thee my heart,        5
Or yet ambition in my breast have part,
More rich, more noble I will ever hold
The Muse’s laurel than a crown of gold.
An undivided sacrifice I’ll lay
Upon thine altar, soul and body pay;        10
Thou shalt my pleasure, my employment be,
My all I’ll 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:        15
Could any doubt ensuing glory then?
What pleasing raptures fill’d my ravish’d 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!        20
By thee deceiv’d, methought each verdant tree
Apollo’s transform’d Daphne seemed to be;
And every fresher branch, and every bough
Appear’d as garlands to empale my brow.
The learn’d in love say, thus the winged boy        25
Does first approach, drest up in welcome joy;
At first he to the cheated lover’s sight
Nought represents but rapture and delight,
Alluring hopes, soft fears, which stronger bind
Their hearts, than when they more assurance find.        30
  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 Aesop’s painted jay, I seem’d to all,        35
Adorn’d in plumes, I not my own could call:
Rifled like her, each one my feathers tore,
And, as they thought, unto the owner bore.
My laurels thus another’s brow adorn’d,
My numbers they admir’d but me they scorn’d:        40
Another’s 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 join’d, and drown’d,        45
And that abyss yet no accession found.
Orinda (Albion’s and her sex’s grace)
Ow’d not her glory to a beauteous face;
It was her radiant soul that shone within,
Which struck a lustre thro’ her outward skin;        50
That did her lips and cheeks with roses dye,
Advanc’d her height and sparkled in her eye.
Nor did her sex at all obstruct her fame,
But higher ’mong the stars it fix’d her name;
What she did write, not only all allow’d,        55
But every laurel to her laurel bow’d!
  The envious age, only to me alone,
Will not allow what I do write my own;
But let them rage and ’gainst a maid conspire,
So deathless numbers from my tuneful lyre        60
Do ever flow; so, Phoebus, I by thee
Inspir’d divinely, and possest may be;
I willingly accept Cassandra’s fate,
To speak the truth, altho’ believ’d too late.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.