Upon My Lady Carlisle’s Walking in Hampton Court Garden

By Sir John Suckling 1609–1642 Sir John Suckling

            T.C.          J.S.


Didst thou not find the place inspired,
And flowers, as if they had desired
No other sun, start from their beds,
And for a sight steal out their heads?
Heardst thou not music when she talked?
And didst not find that as she walked
She threw rare perfumes all about,
Such as bean-blossoms newly out,
Or chafèd spices give?—


I must confess those perfumes, Tom,
I did not smell; nor found that from
Her passing by ought sprung up new.
The flowers had all their birth from you;
For I passed o’er the self-same walk
And did not find one single stalk
Of anything that was to bring
This unknown after-after-spring.


Dull and insensible, couldst see
A thing so near a deity
Move up and down, and feel no change?


None, and so great, were alike strange;
I had my thoughts, but not your way.
All are not born, sir, to the bay.
Alas! Tom, I am flesh and blood,
And was consulting how I could
In spite of masks and hoods descry
The parts denied unto the eye.
I was undoing all she wore,
And had she walked but one turn more,
Eve in her first state had not been
More naked or more plainly seen.


’Twas well for thee she left the place;
There is great danger in that face.
But hadst thou viewed her leg and thigh,
And upon that discovery
Searched after parts that are more dear
(As fancy seldom stops so near),
No time or age had ever seen
So lost a thing as thou hadst been.

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Poet Sir John Suckling 1609–1642


SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Subjects Love, Desire, Infatuation & Crushes

 Sir John  Suckling


A popular label for many poets in seventeenth-century Britain has been "Cavalier," and the person who usually comes first to mind is Sir John Suckling. The classification implies an allegiance to Charles I in his political and military battles against various Parliamentarian or religious groups during the later 1620s through his execution on 30 January 1649. Included thus are the poets Thomas Carew, Richard Lovelace, Suckling, . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Desire, Infatuation & Crushes


SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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