Richard Lovelace (1618-1657)


The following provide various thematic inspirations for Enjoy Such Liberty.

To Althea from Prison

When love with unconfined wings
Hovers within my gates,
And my divine Althea brings
To whisper at the grates;
When I lie tangled in her hair,
And fettered to her eye,
The birds that wanton in the air
Know no such liberty.

When flowing cups run swiftly round
With no allaying Thames,
Our careless heads with roses bound,
Our hearts with loyal flames;
When thirsty grief in wine we steep,
When healths and draughts go free,
Fishes that tipple in the deep
Know no such liberty.

When, like committed linnets, I
With shriller throat shall sing
The sweetness, mercy, majesty,
And glories of my King;
When I shall voice aloud how good
He is, how great should be,
Enlarged winds that curl the flood
Know no such liberty.

Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage;
Minds innocent and quiet take
That for an hermitage;
If I have freedom in my love,
And in my soul am free,
Angels alone, that soar above,
Enjoy such liberty.

To Lucasta (extract)
Ah Lucasta, why so bright?
Spread with early streaked light!
If still vailed from our sight,
What is't but eternall night?

Lucasta's World

Cold as the breath of winds that blow
To silver shot descending snow,
Lucasta sigh't; when she did close
    The world in frosty chaines!
And then a frowne to rubies frose
    The blood boyl'd in our veines:
Yet cooled not the heat her sphere
Of beauties first had kindled there.

Then mov'd, and with a suddaine flame
Impatient to melt all againe,
Straight from her eyes she lightning hurl'd,
    And earth in ashes mournes;
The sun his blaze denies the world,
    And in her luster burnes:
Yet warmed not the hearts, her nice
Disdaine had first congeal'd to ice.

And now her teares nor griev'd desire
Can quench this raging, pleasing fire;
Fate but one way allowes; behold
    Her smiles' divinity!
They fann'd this heat, and thaw'd that cold,
    So fram'd up a new sky.
Thus earth, from flames and ice repreev'd,
E're since hath in her sun-shine liv'd.

To Lucasta, Going Beyond the Seas

If to be absent were to be
Away from thee;
Or that when I am gone,
You or I were alone, - 
Then, my Lucasta, might I crave
Pity from blust'ring wind or swallowing wave.

But I'll not sigh one blast or gale
To swell my sail,
Or pay a tear to 'suage
The foaming blue god's rage;
For whether he will let me pass
Or no, I'm still as happy as I was.

Though seas and land betwixt us both,
Our faith and troth,
Like separated souls,
All time and space controls:
Above the highest sphere we meet
Unseen, unknown, and greet as angels greet.

So then we do anticipate
Our after-fate,
And are alive i'th' skies,
If thus our lips and eyes
Can speak like spirits unconfined
In Heaven, their earthy bodies left behind.

Lucasta Weeping

Lucasta wept, and still the bright
Inamour'd god of day,
With his soft handkercher of light,
Kist the wet pearles away.

But when her teares his heate or'ecame,
In cloudes he quensht his beames,
And griev'd, wept out his eye of flame,
So drowned her sad streames.

At this she smiled, when straight the sun
Cleer'd by her kinde desires;
And by her eyes reflexion
Fast kindl'd there his fires.

To Lucasta, Like to the Sentinel Stars (extract)

Like to the sent'nel stars, I watch all night;
For still the grand round of your light
      And glorious breast
            Awake in me an east:
Nor will my rolling eyes ere know a west.

Now on my down I'm toss'd as on a wave,
And my repose is made my grave;
            Fluttering I lye,
      Do beat my self and dye,
But for a resurrection from your eye.