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A Paraphrase on the CANTICLES.


1 WIlt thou deny the bounty of a Kiss,
2 And see me languish for the Melting bliss?
3 More sweet to me than bright delicious Wine,
4 Prest from the Purple clusters of the Vine:
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5 As Fragrant too as Ointments poured forth,
6 Are the loud Eccho's of thy matchless worth;
7 Which makes the Virgins, kindled by thy fame,
8 Wish to expire in the Celestial Flame:
9 Come then, display thy Lovely Face, and we,
10 Drawn by resistless Charmes, will follow thee;
11 Into thy Royal Chambers brought, where I,
12 May see my Lord, and fear no Witness by.
13 I'm black, tis true, for scorching in the Sun;
14 I kept anothers Vine, and left my own;
15 But tho thus Clouded, the reflecting Face
16 Of my Bright Love shall all this blackness chase.
17 Say then my Dear, much dearer than my Soul;
18 Where feed thy Milky Flocks? Unto what cool
19 Refreshing Shade dost thou resort? least I
20 Should (as I languish) in thy absence dye:
21 Say, Lovely Shepherd, say, What happy Streams
22 Are gilded now with thy Illustrious Beams?
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23 I'll tell thee, Fairest of all Women, how,
24 Thou maist my most frequented Pastures know.
25 Follow the Footsteps of my Flocks, and there
26 I will not fail to Meet my Charming Fair.
27 Whom I, as Mistress of my Flocks will Grace,
28 And on her Brows immortal Garlands Place.
29 The while my Spicknard shall ascend, and Greet
30 My Charmer with its Tributary Sweet:
31 Then, all the Night, upon my Panting Breast,
32 As Fragrant Mirrh; let my Beloved Rest.
33 So Sweet he is, that Mirrh, nor Cypress ere
34 With such Delicious Breathings fill'd the Air.
35 When thy Two Lovely Eyes Inflame my Heart,
36 It leaps for Ioy, and meets th' unerring Dart.
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37 Oh thou more Fair, more vastly bright, then all
38 The World did ever Bright, or Glorious call:
39 My Verdant Love still flourishing, to thee
40 Shall sixt, as our Eternal Mansions be.


1 AT thy Approach, my Cheek with Blushes glows,
2 And Conscious warmth, which with Thee comes and goes;
3 Like the Pale Lilly joyn'd to Sharon's-Rose;
4 And Thorns to them I sooner would compare,
5 Then other Beauties to my Darling Fair.
6 And I as soon would rank a Fruitful Tree
7 With barren shrubs, as Mortal clods with thee.
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8 Beneath thy Shade, blest, to my wish, I sate,
9 And of thy Royal Banquet freely eat;
10 Whilst o'r my head a Banner was display'd:
11 In which, oh Melting Sight, the God of Love did Bleed.
12 Excess of Pleasure will my Soul destroy;
13 I'm ev'n opprest with the Tyrannick Joy:
14 Oh therefore turn thy Lovely Eyes away;
15 (Yet do not, for I die unless they stay.)
16 I faint, I faint; alas! no Mortal yet,
17 With eyes undazled half this Splendor met:
18 But sure I cannot sink, upheld by Thee;
19 So would I rest unto Eternity.
20 And now I charge you, Virgins, not to make
21 The least disturbance, till my Love awake,
22 What Charming Voice is that Salutes my Ear?
23 It must be my Beloved's; he is near:
24 He is, and yet unfriendly stays without:
25 He stays, as if he did a Wellcome doubt.
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26 But hark, methinks I hear him softly say;
27 Arise my Fair, arise, and come away!
28 For loe the Stormy Winter's past and gone;
29 And Summer, Drest in all her Pride, comes on:
30 The Warbling Birds in Airy Raptures Sing
31 Their glad Pindaricks to the Wellcome-Spring:
32 The Fig-Trees sprout, the Chearful Vines look Gay;
33 Arise my Lovely Fair, and come away!
34 Come Forth, my Dove, my Charming Innocence;
35 How canst thou Fear while I am thy Defence?
36 Do thou the Spightful Foxes then Destroy,
37 That would my Young Aspiring Vines Annoy.
38 Not for the World would I exchange my Bliss,
39 While my Beloved's Mine, and I am His.
40 And till the break of that Eternal Day,
41 Whose Rising Sun shall chase the Shades away;
42 Turn, my Beloved, turn again; and thy
43 Dear sight shall make the lazy Moments fly.
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1 TWas in the deadness of a Gloomy Night,
2 My Love, more pleasant than the wishtfor Light,
3 O're all my Bed I vainly sought; for there
4 My Arms could Grasp no more than empty air:
5 Griev'd with my Loss, through all the streets I rove,
6 And every Ear with soft Complaints I move:
7 Then to the Watch, Impatient, thus I Cry;
8 Tell me, O tell! Did not my Love pass by?
9 When loe, a Glimpse of my approaching Lord,
10 A Heaven of Ioy did to my Soul afford:
11 So the dark Souls consin'd to endless Night,
12 Would smile, and wellcome-in a beam of Light.
13 I Clasps him, just as meeting Lovers wou'd,
14 That had the stings of Absence understood:
15 I held him fast, and Centring in his Breast,
16 My ravish'd Soul found her desired Rest.
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17 Him to my Mothers House I did convey;
18 Humble it was, and yet he deign'd to stay.
19 And now I charge you, Virgins, not to make
20 The least disturbance, till my Love awake.
21 Glorious as Titan, from the Eastern Seas
22 A Beauty comes from yon dark Wilderness:
23 So Sacred Incense proudly rises up
24 In cloudy Pillars of perfumed smoak:
25 Compounded Spices of the greatest cost
26 Could ne'r such Aromatick sweetness boast.
27 The Shining Courts of Princely Solomon
28 Were nobly crowded with a Warlike Train:
29 All Arm'd compleatly, all Expert in Fight,
30 To Guard him from the Terrors of the Night.
31 A Chariot Royal too himself he had;
32 Its Pillars of refined Silver made:
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33 The Seats of Gold, fair Purple Clouds above;
34 And, all the bottom, softly pav'd with Love.
35 But loe, a Prince then Solomon, more great;
36 On whom vast Toops of shining Angels wait:
37 His Crown more bright, and fixt, than that which shone
38 Upon the Nuptial brows of Solomon.


1 THo all the lower World should ransackt be,
2 There could be found no parallel for thee:
3 Thy Eyes like Doves, thy fair intangling Locks,
4 Curl'd, and soft as Gileads Milky Flocks:
5 Like them thy Pearly Teeth appear, for so
6 Unsully'd from the Christal Streams they go.
7 But oh! To what may I thy Lips compare?
8 Since fragrant Roses Bloom not half so fair.
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9 The Morning ne'r with such a Crimson blusht,
10 When from the Arms of sooty Night she rusht.
11 The ripe Pomgranates Scarlets are but faint,
12 To those fresh Beauties that thy Cheeks do paint.
13 Thy Neck and Breasts, in Whiteness, do out-goe
14 Ungather'd Lillies, or descending Snow.
15 And till the dawn of that expected Day,
16 When all my Radiant Glories I display,
17 And Chase, at once, the Injurious Shades away:
18 I'll on the Hills of Frankincense reside,
19 And pass the time with thee my Charming Bride;
20 My Love, in whom such vast perfections meet,
21 As renders her transcendently compleat:
22 Then, come with me, from Lebanon, my Spouse,
23 O come, and look beyond this Scene of woes:
24 Thou may'st, and yet it is but darkly, see
25 The bright abodes I have prepar'd for thee:
26 So sweet she looks, that in blest Transports I,
27 Meet the believing glances of her eye;
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28 My All on Earth, my Sister, and my Spouse;
29 Whom, from a Vast Etornity I chose:
30 Not Golden Goblets, Crown'd with noble Wine
31 E're gave such Elevating Ioys as Thine;
32 Such, as the soft expressions of thy Love;
33 So much those dear, those charming accents move.
34 My Love is like a Flowry Mansion Wall'd,
35 Or some reserved Chrystal Fountain seal'd;
36 Whose Waves, untouch't, through secret Channels slide,
37 Untainted, as the Silver Streams, that glide
38 From Heaven, assaulting Lebanon; and fair,
39 As Beauteous Edens Gilded Currents were.
40 Were I a Garden, every Flower in me
41 Should proudly yield their conscious Sweets to thee,
42 The ruddy fruits should thy arrival great,
43 And Smile, and gently bend, thy Lips to meet.
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44 So strongly thy kind Invitations move,
45 I will my Garden see, my Garden, and my Love.
46 Not Hybla's Hives such precious Sweets can yield,
47 Nor Clusters brought from rich Engady's Field,
48 Which, to my lips, I'll raise with eager hast;
49 My Lips that long'd the Heavenly Fruit to tast.


1 THe Night her blackest Vestments had put on,
2 And all the fair remains of day were gone:
3 When my dear Lord, as he had oft before,
4 With Speed and Love approach'd the bolted Door:
5 Arise, my Love, he cries, and with a Voice,
6 Divinely charming, pleads his entrance thus;
7 My Spouse, my Sister, and my fairest Love,
8 (Believing, sure, that Dialect would move;)
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9 Arise, for loaden with the Midnight Dew,
10 Disorder'd, all my streaming Tresses flew:
11 I knew the Voice, the moving Eloquence;
12 But ah! deluded by my drowsie sence;
13 Careless, and Soft, upon a Mossy Bed,
14 I lean'd Supine, with Odorous Roses spread;
15 And long, with weak Excuses, did delay,
16 Amazing him at my unwonted stay.
17 Mov'd, with his Patience, my relenting Breast,
18 Forgetting now to say, I am Undrest.
19 Unto the Door, at length, I rusht, in spite
20 Of Darkness, and the Terrors of the Night;
21 With Rage, to break the guilty Bars I try'd,
22 Which Entrance to my Lord so long deny'd:
23 But found the dear resenting Charmer fled,
24 I curs'd my Sloth, and curs'd my conscious Bed.
25 Yet such a fragrant Sweetness fill'd the Air
26 From his dear Hands, I thought he had still been there.
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27 I call'd aloud, still hoping he was near,
28 And louder still, but Ah! he wou'd not hear.
29 Then thro' the Streets, distracted with my Grief
30 I wildly roving, begg'd of all, relief.
31 At last I met th' ungentle Watch, and they
32 Deride my Tears, and force my Veil away.
33 Ye tender Virgins! you that know the pain
34 A Breast so soft as mine must needs sustain,
35 Robb'd of the once kind Partner of my Fires,
36 And still dear Object of my rackt desires;
37 I charge you, if you meet my absent Love,
38 With all the Rhetorick of our Sex, to move
39 His deafn'd Ears; and tell him, with a Sigh,
40 Deep as my Wounds, ah tell him how I dy.
41 Perhaps that Tragick Word may force the dear
42 Relentless Author of my Grief to hear.
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Daughters of Jerusalem.
43 What thy Beloved is, we first wou'd know,
44 Fairest of Women! thou dost charge us so.
45 What Charms unequal'd in him dost thou see,
46 Impatient Fair! to raise these Storms in thee?
47 Commencing all Perfection, he is such
48 Your most exalted Thoughts can hardly touch,
49 Unsully'd heaps of Snow are not so white,
50 He's Fairer than condensed Beams of Light.
51 His Rosy Cheeks of such a lucent Dy,
52 As Sol ne're gilded on the morning Sky.
53 His Head like polish'd Gold, his graceful Hair,
54 Dark as the Plumes that jetty Ravens wear.
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55 His Eyes, the endless Magazines of Love,
56 How soft! how sweet! how powerfully they move!
57 He breathes more sweetness than the Infant Morn,
58 When Heavenly Dews the Flowry Plains Adorn.
59 The Fragrant Drops of Rich Arabian Gums
60 Burnt on the Altar, yield not such Perfumes.
61 His Hands, surpassing Lillies, grac'd with Gems
62 Fit to Enrich Coelestial Diadems.
63 His Breast smooth Ivory, Enamel'd all
64 With Veins, which Saphirs 'twere unjust to call
65 Divine his Steps, with his Majestick Air,
66 Not ev'n the Lofty Cedars can compare.
67 So sweet his Voice, the listning Angels throng
68 With silent Harps to th' Musick of his Tongue,
69 He's altogether Lovely, This is He,
70 Now, Virgins! Pity, tho' you envy Me.
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1 BUt where, ah where can this bright wonder be
2 For, till we see Him, we are all on Fire;
3 We'll find Him out, or in the search Expire.
4 If my Prophetick Hopes can rightly guess,
5 The Lovely Wanderer in his GARDEN is
6 Among the Lillies, and the Spices; He
7 Is now perhaps kindly expecting Me;
8 Oh 'tis a Heaven of Ioy to think him Mine.
9 And who can see those Eyes and not be thine?
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10 Thy Face, where all the Conquering Graces meet;
11 Where Majesty doth Virgin-softness greet:
12 Ah turn away those Fair Approachless Eyes;
13 I Love, but cannot bear the kind Surprize.
14 Hide, hide the intangling glories of thy Hair;
15 More bright than Streams of Fluid Silver are:
16 Expose no more thy Pearly Teeth, the while
17 Those Rosie Cheeks put on kind looks and smile:
18 Such genuine charmes, how strongly they allure
19 My Soul, and all their rivalls beams obscure.
20 They'r numberless, my Spouse, my Darling Fair;
21 But one, the Choice, and all her Mother bare.
22 The Royal Beauties saw, the blest the Sight;
23 And Setting, wonder'd at a Star so Bright.
24 Who is't, they say, Fair as the breaking Morn,
25 When ruddy beams the bashful Skys adorn?
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26 Clear as the Lamp that Gilds the Sable Night;
27 Dazling as Sols unsufferable Light:
28 Gentle, but awfull, as a Scene of War;
29 At once her Graces conquer and Indear.
30 And could'st thou think, my Love, I e're design'd
31 To leave a Spouse so Beautiful and Kind?
32 I went but down into the Almond-grove,
33 A Lone-recess, indulgent to my Love;
34 Thence rang'd the pleasant Vale, whose Spreading Vine
35 May quit my care perhaps with Bounteous Wine:
36 Where the Pomgranets Blooming-Fruits display
37 More Sanguine-Colours then the Wings of Day:
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38 Or e're I was aware, my happy Eyes
39 Met Thee, a Juster Object of surprize;
40 Fair as a Vision breaking from the Skyes:
41 Scarce could my Breast my leaping heart retain;
42 Scarce could my Soul the unweildy Joy sustain,
43 When I beheld those Wellcome Eyes again.
44 But why that Discontent upon the Brow?
45 Thou wilt not leave me, Cruel Beauty, now!
46 Injurious Charmer, stay What needs this Art,
47 To try the Faith of a Too-constant heart:
48 Return again; let my Companions see
49 The Sweet Inspirer of my Flames in Thee.
50 Return, my Dear, return, and shew the most
51 Victorious Face that e're the World could boast.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): A Paraphrase on the CANTICLES.
Themes: biblical history
Genres: heroic couplet; paraphrase

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Rowe, Elizabeth Singer, 1674-1737. Poems on several occasions. Written by Philomela. London: Printed for John Dunton at the Raven in Jewen-street, 1696, pp. 36-55. [24],72,69,[11]p.; 8⁰ (ESTC R7317; OTA A57734)

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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.

Other works by Elizabeth Rowe (née Singer)