Francis Quarles

8 May 1592 – 8 September 1644 / Romford, Essex, England

Sion's Sonnets


Now rests my love : till nuw her tender brest,
Wanting her joy, could finde no peace, no rest;
I charge you all, by the true love you beare
To friendship, or what else you count most deare,
Disturbe her not, but let her sleep her fill:
I charge you all upon your lives be still.
O may that labouring soule that lives opprest
For me, in me receive eternall rest.
What curious face is this ? what mortall birth
Can shew a beauty thus unstain'd with earth!
What glorious angell wanders there alone,
From earth's foule dungeon, to my father's throne!
It is my love ; my love that hath deny'd
The world for me, it is my fairest bride ;
How fragrant is her breath ! how heavenly faire
Her angel face ! each glorifying the ayre.


O how I'm ravisht with eternall blisse !
Whoe'r thought heaven a joy compar'd to this ?
How doe the pleasures of this glorious face
Adde glory to the glory of his place !
See how kings' courts surmount poore shepheards' cels,
So this the pride of Salomon excels ;
Rich wreathes of glory crowne his royall head,
And troopes of angels waite upon his bed.
The court of princely Salomon was guarded
With able men at armes ; their faith rewarded
With fading honours, subject to the fate
Of fortune, and the jealous frownes of state:
But here the harmonious quire of heaven attend,
Whose prize is glory, glory without end,
Vnmixt with doubtings or denegerous feare—
A greater prince than Salomon is here.
The bridall bed of princely Salomon,
Whose beauty amaz'd the greedy lookers on.
Which all the world admired to behold.
Was but of cedar, and her sted of gold,
Her pillars silver, and her canopie
Of silkes, but richly stain'd with purple die.
Her curtaines wrought in vvorkes, workes rarely led
By th' needles' art : such was the bridall bed.
Such was the bridall bed, which time, or age.
Durst never warrant from th' approbrious rage
Of envious fate, earth's measures but a minute;
Earth fades, all ftides upon it, all within it;
O but the glory of thy divined place
No age can injure, nor yet time deface;
Too weak an object for weake eyes to bide,
Or tongues t' expresse: who ever saw't but dy'd.
Whoe'r beheld the royall crown set on
The nuptiall brovves of princely Salomon ?
His glorious pompe whose honour did display
The noysed triumphs of his marriage-day:
A greater prince than Salomon is here.
The beauty of whose nuptials shall appeare
More glorious, farre transcending his, as farre
As heaven's bright lamp outshines th' obscurest star.
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