Poem of the day

To Althea, from Prison
by Richard Lovelace (1617-1658)

When love with unconfined wings
            Hovers within my gates;
And my divine Althea brings
            To whisper at the grates;
When I lye 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 doe 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 sore above
            Enjoy such liberty.

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