Richard Lovelace

1618-1657 / London / England

To A Lady That Desired Me I Would Beare My Part With Her In A Song Madam A. L.

This is the prittiest motion:
Madam, th' alarums of a drumme
That cals your lord, set to your cries,
To mine are sacred symphonies.

What, though 'tis said I have a voice;
I know 'tis but that hollow noise
Which (as it through my pipe doth speed)
Bitterns do carol through a reed;
In the same key with monkeys jiggs,
Or dirges of proscribed piggs,
Or the soft Serenades above
In calme of night, when cats make love.

Was ever such a consort seen!
Fourscore and fourteen with forteen?
Yet sooner they'l agree, one paire,
Then we in our spring-winter aire;
They may imbrace, sigh, kiss, the rest:
Our breath knows nought but east and west.
Thus have I heard to childrens cries
The faire nurse still such lullabies,
That, well all sayd (for what there lay),
The pleasure did the sorrow pay.

Sure ther's another way to save
Your phansie, madam; that's to have
('Tis but a petitioning kinde fate)
The organs sent to Bilingsgate,
Where they to that soft murm'ring quire
Shall teach you all you can admire!
Or do but heare, how love-bang Kate
In pantry darke for freage of mate,
With edge of steele the square wood shapes,
And DIDO to it chaunts or scrapes.
The merry Phaeton oth' carre
You'l vow makes a melodious jarre;
Sweeter and sweeter whisleth He
To un-anointed axel-tree;
Such swift notes he and 's wheels do run;
For me, I yeeld him Phaebus son.
Say, faire Comandres, can it be
You should ordaine a mutinie?
For where I howle, all accents fall,
As kings harangues, to one and all.

Ulisses art is now withstood:
You ravish both with sweet and good;
Saint Syren, sing, for I dare heare,
But when I ope', oh, stop your eare.

Far lesse be't aemulation
To passe me, or in trill or tone,
Like the thin throat of Philomel,
And the smart lute who should excell,
As if her soft cords should begin,
And strive for sweetnes with the pin.

Yet can I musick too; but such
As is beyond all voice or touch;
My minde can in faire order chime,
Whilst my true heart still beats the time;
My soule so full of harmonie,
That it with all parts can agree;
If you winde up to the highest fret,
It shall descend an eight from it,
And when you shall vouchsafe to fall,
Sixteene above you it shall call,
And yet, so dis-assenting one,
They both shall meet in unison.

Come then, bright cherubin, begin!
My loudest musick is within.
Take all notes with your skillfull eyes;
Hearke, if mine do not sympathise!
Sound all my thoughts, and see exprest
The tablature of my large brest;
Then you'l admit, that I too can
Musick above dead sounds of man;
Such as alone doth blesse the spheres,
Not to be reacht with humane eares.
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