I was introduced to to Lovelace back in November 2011 (I think!) by a friend, and immediately fell in love with his poems. This was the one that I first read, so it seems apt it should be here. I also recommend ‘To Lucasta, Going To The Wars’ and ‘Valiant Love’.
TO AMARANTHA; THAT SHE WOULD DISHEVELL HER HAIRE – RICHARD LOVELACE
Amarantha sweet and faire,
Ah brade no more that shining haire!
As my curious hand or eye,
Hovering round thee, let it flye.
Let it flye as unconfin’d
As it’s calme ravisher, the winde,
Who hath left his darling, th’ East,
To wanton o’re that spicie neast.
Ev’ry tresse must be confest:
But neatly tangled at the best;
Like a clue of golden thread,
Most excellently ravelled.
Doe not then winde up that light
In ribands, and o’er-cloud in night,
Like the sun in’s early ray;
But shake your head, and scatter day.
See, ’tis broke! within this grove,
The bower and the walkes of love,
Weary lye we downe and rest,
And fanne each other’s panting breast.
Heere wee’ll strippe and coole our fire,
In creame below, in milk-baths higher:
And when all wells are drawne dry,
I’ll drink a teare out of thine eye.
Which our very joys shall leave,
That sorrowes thus we can deceive;
Or our very sorrowes weepe,
That joyes so ripe so little keepe.