Home  »  Metaphysical Lyrics & Poems of the Seventeenth Century  »  Upon Phillis walking in a morning before Sun-rising

Herbert J.C. Grierson, ed. (1886–1960). Metaphysical Lyrics & Poems of the 17th C. 1921.

1613–1658 John Cleveland

Upon Phillis walking in a morning before Sun-rising

THE SLUGGISH morne as yet undrest,

My Phillis brake from out her East;

As if shee’d made a match to run

With Venus, Usher to the sun.

The Trees like yeomen of her guard,

Serving more for pomp then ward,

Rankt on each side with loyall duty,

Weave branches to enclose her beauty.

The Plants whose luxury was lopt,

Or age with crutches underpropt;

Whose wooden carkases are growne

To be but coffins of their owne;

Revive, and at her generall dole

Each receives his ancient soule:

The winged Choristers began

To chirp their Mattins: and the Fan

Of whistling winds like Organs plai’d,

Untill their Voluntaries made

The wakened earth in Odours rise

To be her morning Sacrifice.

The flowers, call’d out of their beds,

Start, and raise up their drowsie heads;

And he that for their colour seekes,

May find it vaulting in her cheekes,

Where Roses mixe: no Civil War

Betweene her Yorke and Lancaster.

The Marigold whose Courtiers face

Ecchoes the Sun, and doth unlace

Her at his rise, at his full stop

Packs and shuts up her gaudy shop,

Mistakes her cue, and doth display:

Thus Philis antedates the day.

These miracles had cramp’t the Sunne,

Who thinking that his kingdom ’s wonne,

Powders with light his freezled lockes,

To see what Saint his lustre mocks.

The trembling leaves through which he plai’d,

Dapling the walke with light and shade,

Like Lattice-windowes, give the spie

Roome but to peep with halfe an eye;

Lest her full Orb his sight should dim,

And bid us all good-night in him,

Till she would spend a gentle ray

To force us a new fashion’d day.

But what religious Paulsie ’s this

Which makes the boughs divest their bliss?

And that they might her foot-steps strawe,

Drop their leaves with shivering awe?

Phillis perceives, and (least her stay

Should wed October unto May;

And as her beauty caus’d a Spring,

Devotion might an Autumne bring)

With-drew her beames, yet made no night,

But left the Sun her Curate-light.