Born Katherine Fowler
Father was a London merchant and a moderate Puritain
Married to James Philips, 38 years older than her, when she was 16
Began writing poetry shortly after she was married
Discovered by Henry Vaughan
Used “Orinda” as her pen name
Saw only 2 of her books in print
Died of smallpox
“Let the dull brutish world that know not love/ Continue heretics, and disapprove/ That noble flame; but the ferined know/ ‘Tis all heaven we have here below./ Nature subsists by Love, and they tie/ Thngs to their causes but by Sympathy. / Love chains the differing Elements in one/ Great Harmony, linked to the heavenly throne;/ And as on Earth, so the blest choir above/ Of Saints and Angels are maintained by love;/ That is their business and felicity,/ And will be so to all eternity./ That is the Ocean, our affections here/ Are bt streams borrowed from the fountain there;/ And ’tis the noblest argument to prove/ A beauteous mind, that it knows how to love./ Those kind impressions which fate can’t control,/ Are heaven’s mintage on a worthy soul;/ For love is all the arts’ eptome,/ And is the sum of all divinity./ He’s worse than beast that cannot love, and yet/ It is not bought by money, pains, or wit;/ So no chance nor design can spirits move,/ But the eternal desitny of Love.
For when two souls are changed and mixed so,/ It is what they and none but they can do;/ And this is friendship, that abstracted flame/ Which creeping mortals know not how to name./ All Love is sacred, and the marriage tie/ Hath much of Honor and divinity;/ But Lust, design, or some unworthy ends/ May mingle there, which are despised by friends./ Passion hath violent extremes, and thus/ All oppositions are contiguous./ So when the end is served the Love will bate,/ If friendship make it not more fortunate:/ Friendship! that Love’s Elixir, taht pure fire/ Which burns the clearer ’cause it burns the higher;/ For Love, like earthy fires (whch will decay/ If the material fuel be away)/ Is with offensiv smoke accompanied,/ And by resistance only is supplied:/ But friendship, like the fiery element,/ With its own heat and nourishment content,/ (Where neither hurt, nor smoke, nor noise is made)/ Scorns the assistance of a foreign aid./ Friendship (ike Heraldry) is hereby known:/ Richest when plainest, bravest when alone;/ Calm as a Virgin, and more innocent/ Than sleeping Doves are, and as much content/ As saints in visions; quiet as the night/ But clear and open as the summer’s light;/ United more than spirits’ faculties,/ Higher in thoughts than are the eagle’s ees;/ Free as first agents are true friends, and kind,/ As but themselves I can no likeness find.
– “Friendship” (in whole)