1670 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Katherine Philips

William Temple, Upon Mrs. Philipp's Death: made at the Desire of my Lady Temple" Temple, Poems by W. T. (1670 ca.) 34-37.



Why all these looks so solemn and so sad!
Who is that one can dye, and none be glad!
The Rich leaves Heirs, the Great makes room, the Wise
Pleases the foolish onely when he dyes.
Men so divided are in hopes and fears,
That none can live or dye with gen'ral tears;
'Tis sure some Star is fallen, and our hearts
Grow heavy as its gentle influence parts.
Thus said I, and like others hung my head,
When streight 'twas whisper'd 'tis Orinda's dead;
Orinda! what! the glory of our Stage!
Crown of her Sex, and wonder of the Age!
Gracefull and fair in body and in mind,
She taught sullen Vertue to be kind,
Youth to be wise, Mirth to be innocent,
Fame to be steddy, Envy to relent;
Love to be cool, and Friendship to be warm,
Praise to be good, and Wit to do no harm!
Orinda! that was sent the World to give
The best example how to write and live!
The Queen of Poets, whosoe'er's the King,
And to whose Sceptre all their homage bring!
Who more than Men conceiv'd and understood,
And more than Women knew how to be good.
Who learnt all young that age could e'er attain,
Excepting onely to be proud and vain;
And alone so rich amends for all
The faults her Sex committed since the fall,
Can she be dead! Can any thing be great
And safe! Can day advance and not retreat
Into the shady night! But she was young
And might have liv'd to tune the World, and sung
Us all asleep that now lament her fall,
And fate unjust, Heav'n unrelenting call.
Alas! can any fruit grow ripe in Spring,
And hang till Autumn? Nature gives this sting
To all below, whatever thrives too fast
Decays too soon, late growths may longer last.
Orinda could not wait on slow pac't time,
Having so far to go, so high to climb;
But like a flash of heavenly fire that falls
Into some earthly dwelling, first it calls
The Neighbours onely to admire the light
And lustre that surprize their wondring sight,
Till kindling all, it grows a noble flame,
Towring and spiring up from whence it came;
But e'er arrived at those azure Walls,
The house that lodg'd it here, to ashes falls:
Such was Orinda's Soul. But hold! I see
A Troop of Mourners in deep Elegie,
Make room and listen to their charming lays,
For they bring Cypress here to trade for Bayes;
And he deserves it who of all the rest
Praises and imitates Orinda best.