Archive for June 28th, 2014

Saturday, 28 June 2014

A Dreame by Richard Fanshawe

I saw two swans come proudly downe the streame
Of Trent, as I his silver curles beheld;
To which, the doves that draw fayre Venus’ teame,
And Venus selfe, must beauty’s scepter yield.

Jove was not halfe so white, when he was one,
And courted Leda in a snowy plume;
Nor never such a taking shape put on,
Of all that love compelled him to assume.

Fayre birds, allied to him that set on fire
The world, why do ye so delight in floods?
And kindling in a thousand hearts desire,
Quench his soft movings in your gentle bloods?

Ah! since so many live in flames for you,
Leave to be swans, growe salamanders too.

From: Clifford, Arthur (ed.), Tixall Poetry; with Notes and Illustrations, 1813, James Ballantyne and Co: Edinburgh, p. 218.

Date: c1636

By: Richard Fanshawe (1608-1666)