To Althea From Prison To Althea From Prison
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To Althea From Prison

Richard Lovelace

WHEN LOVE with unconfined wings
Hovers within my gates,
And my divine AIthea brings
To whisper at my grates;
When I lie tangled in her hair
And fettered with her eyes
The birds that wanton in the air
Know no such liberty.

When flowing cups pass swiftly round
With no allaying Thames,
Our careless heads with roses crowned,
Our hearts with loyal flames;
When thirsty grief in wine we steep,
When healths and draughts go free,
Fishes that tipple in the deep
Know no such liberty.

When, linnet-like confined,
With shriller throat shall sing
The mercy, sweetness, majesty
And glories of my King;
When I shall voice aloud how good
He is, how great should he,
The enlarge'd winds, that curl the flood,
Know no such liberty.

Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage;
Minds innocent and quiet take
That for an hermitage:
If I have freedom in my love,
And in my soul am free,
Angels alone, that soar above,
Enjoy such liberty.

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