Song to Amarantha, that she would Dishevel her Hair

By Richard Lovelace 1618–1657 Richard Lovelace
      Amarantha sweet and fair
Ah braid no more that shining hair!
      As my curious hand or eye
Hovering round thee let it fly.

      Let it fly as unconfin’d
As its calm ravisher, the wind,
      Who hath left his darling th’East,
To wanton o’er that spicy nest.

      Ev’ry tress must be confest
But neatly tangled at the best;
      Like a clue of golden thread,
Most excellently ravelled.

      Do not then wind up that light
In ribands, and o’er-cloud in night;
      Like the sun in’s early ray,
But shake your head and scatter day.

      See ’tis broke! Within this grove
The bower, and the walks of love,
      Weary lie we down and rest,
And fan each other’s panting breast.

      Here we’ll strip and cool our fire
In cream below, in milk-baths higher:
      And when all wells are drawn dry,
I’ll drink a tear out of thine eye,

      Which our very joys shall leave
That sorrows thus we can deceive;
      Or our very sorrows weep,
That joys so ripe, so little keep.

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Poet Richard Lovelace 1618–1657


SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Subjects Relationships, Love, Men & Women, Romantic Love, Desire, Heartache & Loss

Poetic Terms Couplet

 Richard  Lovelace


Like the other Cavalier poets of 17th-century England, Richard Lovelace lived a legendary life as a soldier, lover, and courtier. Persecuted for his unflagging support of King Charles I, he died in dire poverty — but not before writing two of the age’s most melodic and moving lyrics: “To Althea, from Prison” and “To Lucasta, Going to the Wars.”

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Love, Men & Women, Romantic Love, Desire, Heartache & Loss


SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Poetic Terms Couplet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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