Verse > Anthologies > Herbert J.C. Grierson, ed. > Metaphysical Lyrics & Poems of the 17th c.
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Herbert J.C. Grierson, ed. (1886–1960). Metaphysical Lyrics & Poems of the 17th C.  1921.
 
Richard Crashaw
 
137. Answer for Hope
 
DEAR hope! earth's dowry, & heavn's debt! 
      The entity of those that are not yet. 
Subtlest, but surest beeing! Thou by whom 
Our nothing has a definition! 
      Substantiall shade! whose sweet allay         5
      Blends both the noones of night & day. 
Fates cannot find out a capacity 
      Of hurting thee. 
From Thee their lean dilemma, with blunt horn, 
Shrinkes, as the sick moon from the wholsome morn.  10
      Rich hope! love's legacy, under lock 
Of faith! still spending, & still growing stock! 
Our crown-land lyes above yet each meal brings 
A seemly portion for the sonnes of kings. 
      Nor will the virgin joyes we wed  15
      Come lesse unbroken to our bed, 
Because that from the bridall cheek of blisse 
      Thou steal'st us down a distant kisse. 
Hope's chast stealth harmes no more joye's maidenhead 
Then spousall rites prejudge the marriage bed.  20
  Fair hope! our earlyer heav'n by thee 
Young time is taster to eternity. 
Thy generous wine with age growes strong, not sowre. 
Nor does it kill thy fruit, to smell thy flowre. 
      Thy golden, growing, head never hangs down  25
      Till in the lappe of loves full noone 
It falls; and dyes! o no, it melts away 
      As does the dawn into the day. 
As lumpes of sugar lose themselves; and twine 
Their supple essence with the soul of wine.  30
  Fortune? alas, above the world's low warres 
Hope walks; & kickes the curld heads of conspiring starres. 
Her keel cutts not the waves where These winds stirr, 
Fortune's whole lottery is one blank to her. 
      Sweet hope! kind cheat! fair fallacy by thee  35
      We are not WHERE nor What we be, 
But WHAT & WHERE we would be. Thus art thou 
Our absent PRESENCE and our future Now. 
Faith's sister! nurse of fair desire! 
Fear's antidote! a wise & well-stay'd fire!  40
Temper twixt chill despair, & torrid joy! 
Queen Regent in yonge love's minority! 
      Though the vext chymick vainly chases 
      His fugitive gold through all her faces; 
Though love's more feirce, more fruitlesse, fires assay  45
    One face more fugitive then all they; 
True hope's a glorious hunter & her chase, 
The GOD of nature in the feilds of grace. 
VIVE JESU.                   
 
 
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