Richard Crashaw

AG: Then we have now Richard Crashaw,  page three-five-six- There’s a funny Shakespearean line in that middle poem, “To The Infant Martyrs”.  Has anybody read that already? Anybody read on through Crashaw at all? (because somebody could read “”To The Infant Martyrs” – whoever starts reading could read it

Student -[reads] – “Go, smiling souls, your new-built cages break,/ In heaven you’ll learn to sing, ere here to speak,/ Nor let the milky fonts that bathe your thirst/Be your delay; /The place that calls you hence is, at the worst,/ Milk all the way.”

AG: “Milk all the way.” –  ‘The place that calls you hence is, at the worst,/ Milk all the way.” – that’s pretty, (like)  Shakespeare,  so that was worth looking at. The other poem here is long, and, I think, slightly boring, but there is one glorious poem by him that has a great ear that I found in the Auden-(Pearson) anthology (well, I’ve known it a long time, and I like it). It’s another hymn to Saint Teresa (because in this book (the Norton anthology) you have this long hymn to Saint Teresa [“A Hymn To The Name and Honour of The Admirable Saint Teresa”], which you can read at your leisure – there are a few good lines, I would suggest you check out lines fifty-five to sixty-five, and seventy-three..  –  I’m not going to read them aloud so these are notes for you – fifty-five to sixty-five and seventy-three to eighty, and  lines one hundred to one-hundred five are excellent).

“O how oft shalt thou complain/Of a sweet and subtle pain!/Of intolerable joys!/Of a death, in which who dies/Loves his death, and dies again/And would for ever be so slain/And lives and dies, and knows not why/To live, but that he still may doe!/How kindly will thy gentle heart/Kiss the sweet-killing dart/And close in his embraces keep.”

“Into perfuming clouds, so fast/Shall thou exhale to heaven at last/In a resolving sigh, and then -/ O what? Ask not the tongues of men.”

“Angels cannot tell suffice/Thyself shalt feel thine own full joys/And hold them fast for ever there/So soon as thou shalt first appear”

“Weave a constellation/Of crowns, with which the King, thy spouse,/Shall build up thy triumphant brows/All thy old woes shall now smile on thee/And thy pains sit bright upon thee/All thy sorrows here shall shine”

[Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at  approximately twenty-seven-and-a-quarter minutes in and concluding approximately  twenty-nine minutes in]

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