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A poem by Richard Lovelace

An Anniversary On The Hymeneals Of My Noble Kinsman, Thomas Stanley, Esq.

Title:     An Anniversary On The Hymeneals Of My Noble Kinsman, Thomas Stanley, Esq.
Author: Richard Lovelace [More Titles by Lovelace]

[An Anniversary On the Hymeneals of My Noble
Kinsman,<1> Thomas Stanley, Esq.<2>]


The day is curl'd about agen
To view the splendor she was in;
When first with hallow'd hands
The holy man knit the mysterious bands
When you two your contracted souls did move
Like cherubims above,
And did make love,
As your un-understanding issue now,
In a glad sigh, a smile, a tear, a vow.


Tell me, O self-reviving Sun,
In thy perigrination
Hast thou beheld a pair
Twist their soft beams like these in their chast air?
As from bright numberlesse imbracing rayes
Are sprung th' industrious dayes,
So when they gaze,
And change their fertile eyes with the new morn,
A beauteous offspring is shot forth, not born.


Be witness then, all-seeing Sun,
Old spy, thou that thy race hast run
In full five thousand rings;<89.3>
To thee were ever purer offerings
Sent on the wings of Faith? and thou, O Night,<89.4>
Curtain of their delight,
By these made bright,
Have you not mark'd their coelestial play,
And no more peek'd the gayeties of day?


Come then, pale virgins, roses strow,
Mingled with Ios as you go.
The snowy ox is kill'd,
The fane with pros'lyte lads and lasses fill'd,
You too may hope the same seraphic joy,
Old time cannot destroy,
Nor fulnesse cloy;
When, like these, you shall stamp by sympathies
Thousands of new-born-loves with your chaste eyes.


<1> Lovelace was connected with the Stanleys through the Auchers. The Kentish families, about this time, intermarried with each other to a very large extent, partly to indemnify themselves from the consequences of gravelkind tenure (though many had procured parliamentary relief); and the Lovelaces, the Stanleys, the Hammonds, the Sandyses, were all more or less bound together by the ties of kindred. See the tree prefixed by Sir Egerton Brydges to his edition of HAMMOND'S POEMS, 1816, and the Introduction to STANLEY'S POEMS, 1814. Sir William Lovelace, the poet's grandfather, married Elizabeth, daughter of Edward Aucher, Esq., of Bishopsbourne, near Canterbury, while Sir William Hammond, of St. Alban's Court, married, as his second wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Anthony Aucher, Esq., of Bishopsbourne, by whom he had, among other children, Mary, who became the wife of Sir Thomas Stanley, of Cumberlow, father of Thomas Stanley, the poet, historian, and translator of Bion, &c.;

<2> See THE POEMS OF WILLIAM HAMMOND, 1655, edited by Sir E. Brydges, 1816, p. 54, where there is a similar poem on Stanley and his bride from the pen of Hammond, who also claimed relationship with the then newly-married poet. The best account of Stanley is in the reprint of his Poems and Translations, 1814, 8vo.

<3> Meaning that the earth had made 5000 revolutions round the sun; or, in other words, that the sun was 5000 years old.

<4> Original reads AND THOU OF NIGHT.

[The end]
Richard Lovelace's poem: Anniversary On The Hymeneals Of My Noble Kinsman, Thomas Stanley, Esq.