Henry King (16 January 1592 – 30 September 1669 / Worminghall, Buckinghamshire)
My best of friends! what needs a chain to tie
One by your merit bound a Votarie?
Think you I have some plot upon my peace,
I would this bondage change for a release?
Since 'twas my fate your prisoner to be,
Heav'n knows I nothing fear but libertie.
Yet you do well that study to prevent,
After so rich a stock of favour spent
On one so worthless, lest my memory
Should let so dear an obligation dy
Without Record. This made my precious Friend
Her Token, as an Antidote to send
Against forgetful poysons. That as they
Who Vespers late, and early Mattins say
Upon their Beads, so on this linked skore
In golden numbers I might reckon ore
Your vertues and my debt, which does surmount
The trivial laws of Popular account:
For that within this emblematick knot
Your beauteous mind, and my own fate is wrote.
The sparkling constellation which combines
The Lock, is your dear self, whose worth outshines
Most of your sex: so solid and so clear
You like a perfect Diamond appear;
Casting from your example fuller light
Then those dimme sparks which glaze the brow of night,
And gladding all your friends, as doth the ray
Of that East-starre which wakes the cheerful day.
But the black Map of death and discontent
Behind that Adamantine firmament,
That luckless figure which like Calvary
Stands strew'd and coppy'd out in skuls, is I;
Whose life your absence clouds, and makes my time
Move blindfold in the dark ecliptick line.
Then wonder not if my removed Sun
So low within the Western Tropick run;
My eyes no day in this Horizon see,
Since where You are not all is night to me.
Lastly, the anchor which enfastned lies
Upon a pair of deaths, sadly applies
That Monument of Rest which harbour must
Our Ship-wrackt fortunes in a road of dust.
So then how late soere my joyless life
Be tired out in this affections strife:
Though my tempestuous fancie like the skie
Travail with stormes, and through my watry eie
Sorrows high-going waves spring many a leak;
Though sighs blow loud til my hearts cordage break;
Though Faith, and all my wishes prove untrue,
Yet Death shall fix and anchor Me with You.
'Tis some poor comfort that this mortal scope
Will Period, though never Crown my Hope.
Comments about this poem (An Acknowledgment by Henry King )
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