Thomas Carew


THIS silken wreath, which circles in mine arm,
Is but an emblem of that mystic charm
Wherewith the magic of your beauties binds
My captive soul, and round about it winds
Fetters of lasting love. This hath entwined
My flesh alone ; that hath empaled my mind.
Time may wear out these soft weak bands, but those
Strong chains of brass Fate shall not discompose.
This holy relic may preserve my wrist,
But my whole frame doth by that power subsist :
To that my prayers and sacrifice, to this
I only pay a superstitious kiss.
This but the idol, that's the deity ;
Religion there is due ; here, ceremony ;
That I receive by faith, this but in trust ;
Here I may tender duty : there I must ;
This order as a layman I may bear,
But I become Love's priest when that I wear ;
This moves like air ; that as the center stands ;
That knot your virtue tied ; this was made by art ;
This makes my arm your prisoner ; that, my heart.

Vincent, Arthur, ed. The Poems of Thomas Carew.
London: George Routledge & Sons, Ltd., nd. 39.

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