Air and Angels

Twice or thrice had I loved thee,
Before I knew thy face or name
So in a voice, so in a shapeless flame,
Angels affect us oft, and worshipped be
Still when, to where thou wert, I came,

Some lovely glorious nothing I did see
But since my soul, whose child love is,
Takes limbs of flesh, and else could nothing do,
More subtle than the parent is
Love must not be, but take a body too,
And therefore what thou wert, and who
I bid love ask, and now,
That it assume thy body, I allow
And fix itself in thy lip, eye, and brow.

Whilst thus to ballast love, I thought,
And so more steadily to have gone,
With wares which would sink admiration,
I saw, I had love’s pinnace overfraught,
Every thy hair for love to work upon
Is much too much, some fitter must be sought
For, nor in nothing, nor in things,

Extreme, and scatt’ring bright, can love inhere
Then as an angel, face and wings
Of air, not pure as it, yet pure doth wear,
So thy love may be my love’s sphere
Just such disparity
As is ‘twixt air and angels’ purity,
‘Twixt women’s love, and men’s will ever be.

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