Friday, January 31, 2014


An Inward Feast

William Strode (1600-1643), "The answer [to The lover's Melancholy], by Dr. Stroad" in Wit Restor'd in severall Select Poems Not formerly publish't (London: Printed for R. Pollard, N. Brooks, and T. Dring, 1658), p. 66 (line numbers added):
Returne my joyes and hither bring
A tounge not made to speake, but sing;
A jollye splene, an inward feast,
A causelesse laugh without a jest,
A face which gladnesse doth annoint,       5
An arme for joy flung out of joynt;
A spritefull gate that leaves no print,
And make a feather of a flint:
A heart that's lighter then the ayre
An eye still dancing in its sphere,       10
Strong which mirth nothing shall controul
A body nimbler then a soul;
Free wandring thoughts not tied to muse
Which thinking all things, nothing chuse;
Which ere wee see them come, are gone,       15
These, life it selfe doth feed upon.
    Then take no care but only to be jolly,
    To be more wretched then we must, is folly.
In line 7 the modern spelling of "gate" is "gait." Modern editors emend "make" in line 8 to "makes," "which mirth" in line 11 to "mirth which." The final couplet is good advice.

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