Friendship’s Mystery, To my Dearest Lucasia

By Katherine Philips 1631–1664 Katherine Philips

Come, my Lucasia, since we see
      That Miracles Mens faith do move,
By wonder and by prodigy
      To the dull angry world let’s prove
      There’s a Religion in our Love.


For though we were design’d t’ agree,
      That Fate no liberty destroyes,
But our Election is as free
      As Angels, who with greedy choice
      Are yet determin’d to their joyes.


Our hearts are doubled by the loss,
      Here Mixture is Addition grown ;
We both diffuse, and both ingross :
      And we whose minds are so much one,
      Never, yet ever are alone.


We court our own Captivity
      Than Thrones more great and innocent :
’Twere banishment to be set free,
      Since we wear fetters whose intent
      Not Bondage is, but Ornament.


Divided joyes are tedious found,
      And griefs united easier grow :
We are our selves but by rebound,
      And all our Titles shuffled so,
      Both Princes, and both Subjects too.


Our Hearts are mutual Victims laid,
      While they (such power in Friendship lies)
Are Altars, Priests, and Off’rings made :
      And each Heart which thus kindly dies,
      Grows deathless by the Sacrifice.

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Poet Katherine Philips 1631–1664


SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Subjects Friends & Enemies, Love, Relationships, Infatuation & Crushes

Holidays Valentine's Day

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

 Katherine  Philips


One of the first women to acquire fame as a writer in England, Katherine Philips addressed poems of love and companionship to the women in her circle, called “Society of Friendship.” She was known as “The Matchless Orinda” for the pseudonym she adopted within the group and as “the English Sappho” for her similarities to the ancient Greek poetess of Lesbos.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Friends & Enemies, Love, Relationships, Infatuation & Crushes


SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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