On a Girdle

By Edmund Waller 1606–1687 Edmund Waller
That which her slender waist confin’d,
Shall now my joyful temples bind;
No monarch but would give his crown,
His arms might do what this has done.

It was my heaven’s extremest sphere,
The pale which held that lovely deer,
My joy, my grief, my hope, my love,
Did all within this circle move.

A narrow compass, and yet there
Dwelt all that’s good, and all that’s fair;
Give me but what this ribbon bound,
Take all the rest the sun goes round.

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Poet Edmund Waller 1606–1687

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Subjects Relationships, Nature, The Body, Love, Men & Women, Romantic Love, Desire, Infatuation & Crushes

Poetic Terms Metaphor, Couplet

 Edmund  Waller

Biography

Elected to Parliament at age 16, Edmund Waller quickly gained a reputation as a masterful orator. He was also a celebrated lyric poet long before the publication of his Poems in 1645. Despite his eloquent efforts to placate both Oliver Cromwell and Charles II, Waller was forced into exile for nearly a decade. His highly refined work, particularly his heroic couplets, were much admired by Alexander Pope and John Dryden.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Nature, The Body, Love, Men & Women, Romantic Love, Desire, Infatuation & Crushes

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Poetic Terms Metaphor, Couplet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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