To Althea from Prison

by Richard Lovelace


When love with unconfined wings
  Hovers within my gates;
And my divine Althea brings
  To whisper at the grates;
When I lye tangled in her haire,
  And fetterd to her eye,
The birds, that wanton in the aire,
  Know no such liberty.


When flowing cups run swiftly round
  With no allaying Thames,
Our carelesse heads with roses bound,
  Our hearts with loyal flames;
When thirsty griefe in wine we steepe,
  When healths and draughts go free,
Fishes, that tipple in the deepe,
  Know no such libertie.


When (like committed linnets) I
  With shriller throat shall sing
The sweetnes, mercy, majesty,
  And glories of my King.
When I shall voyce aloud, how good
  He is, how great should be,
Inlarged winds, that curle the flood,
  Know no such liberty.


Stone walls doe not a prison make,
  Nor iron bars a cage;
Mindes innocent and quiet take
  That for an hermitage;
If I have freedome in my love,
  And in my soule am free,
Angels alone that sore above
  Enjoy such liberty.

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