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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Richard Crashaw (c. 1613–1649)

Wishes for the Supposed Mistress

WHOE’ER she be,

That not impossible She

That shall command my heart and me;

Where’er she lie,

Locked up from mortal eye

In shady leaves of destiny

Till that ripe birth

Of studied Faith stand forth,

And teach her fair steps tread our earth;

Till that divine

Idea take a shrine

Of crystal flesh, through which to shine:

Meet you her, my Wishes,

Bespeak her to my blisses,

And be ye called, my absent kisses.

I wish her beauty

That owes not all its duty

To gaudy tire, or glist’ring shoe-tie,—

Something more than

Taffeta or tissue can,

Or rampant feather, or rich fan,—

A face that’s best

By its own beauty drest,

And can alone commend the rest;


Soft silken hours,

Open suns, shady bowers,—

’Bove all, nothing within that lowers;


Days, that in spite

Of darkness, by the light

Of a clear mind are day all night;

Life, that dares send

A challenge to his end,

And when it comes, say, “Welcome, friend.”

I wish her store

Of worth may leave her poor

Of wishes; and I wish—no more.

Now, if Time knows

That Her, whose radiant brows

Weave them a garland of my vows;


Such worth as this is

Shall fix my flying wishes,

And determine them to kisses.

Let her full glory,

My fancies, fly before ye;

Be ye my fictions—but her story.