To My Excellent Lucasia, on Our Friendship

By Katherine Philips 1631–1664 Katherine Philips
I did not live until this time
    Crowned my felicity,
When I could say without a crime,
    I am not thine, but thee.

This carcass breathed, and walked, and slept,
    So that the world believed   
There was a soul the motions kept;
    But they were all deceived.

For as a watch by art is wound
    To motion, such was mine:
But never had Orinda found
    A soul till she found thine;

Which now inspires, cures and supplies,
    And guides my darkened breast:
For thou art all that I can prize,
    My joy, my life, my rest.

No bridegroom’s nor crown-conqueror’s mirth
    To mine compared can be:
They have but pieces of the earth,
    I’ve all the world in thee.

Then let our flames still light and shine,
    And no false fear control,
As innocent as our design,
    Immortal as our soul.

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Poet Katherine Philips 1631–1664

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Subjects Relationships, Friends & Enemies

 Katherine  Philips

Biography

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 Relationships, Friends & Enemies

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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