"Rosania to Lucasia on her Letters"
By Katherine Philips

Transcription, correction, editorial commentary, and markup by Students and Staff at The University of Virginia, John O'Brien, Sara Brunstetter
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London : Printed by J.M. for H. Herringman, 1667This text is based on transcriptions created by the Early English Books Online Texts Creation Partnership, a library-based project directed by the University of Michigan and Oxford University. Their digital text was produced from the 1667 edition, published by Henry Herringman in London in 1667, three years after Philips's death, but with the collaboration of her late husband. We have also consulted The Collected Works of Katherine Philips, edited by Patrick Thomas (Essex: Stump Cross Books, 1990), which takes Philips's manuscript versions of her poems as its copytext. Annotations have been provided by faculty and students at the University of Virginia. For a full description of this object, see its ESTC entry.

Editorial Statements

Research informing these annotations draws on publicly-accessible resources, with links provided where possible. Annotations have also included common knowledge, defined as information that can be found in multiple reliable sources. If you notice an error in these annotations, please contact lic.open.anthology@gmail.com.

Original spelling and capitalization is retained, though the long s has been silently modernized and ligatured forms are not encoded.

Hyphenation has not been retained, except where necessary for the sense of the word.

Page breaks have been retained. Catchwords, signatures, and running headers have not. Where pages break in the middle of a word, the complete word has been indicated prior to the page beginning.

Materials have been transcribed from and checked against first editions, where possible. See the Sources section.


Philips, Katherine. "Rosania to Lucasia on her Letters". Poems by the most deservedly admired Mrs. Katherine Philips, the matchless Orinda; to which is added Monsieur Corneille's Pompey & Horace, tragedies; with several other translations out of French, Printed by J.M. for H. Herringman, 1667 , pp 144-145 . Literature in Context: An Open Anthology. http://anthology.lib.virginia.edu/work/Philips/philips-rosania. Accessed: 2024-04-22T09:27:02.992Z

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144 Rosania to Lucasia on her LettersTitleTitle"Rosania" refers to Mary Aubrey, a friend of Philips's from childhood. "Lucasia" refers to Ann Owen, who was Philips's closest friend and the person to whom many of her poems are addressed. This poem, unusually, sees Philips takes the voice of someone other than herself, imagining two members of her coterie writing to each other. 1Ah strike outright, or else forbear, 2Be more kind, or more severe; 3For in this checquer'dCheckeredCheckeredCheckered or full of alteration and varying character (Oxford English Dictionary). mixture I 4Cannot live, and would not die, 5And must I neither? tell me why? 6When thy Pen thy kindness tells, 7My heart transported leaps and swells. 145 8But when my greedy eye does stray 9Thy threat'ned absence to survey, 10That heart is struck and faints away. 11To give me title to rich land, 12And the fruition to withstand, 13Or solemnly to send the key 14Of treasures I must never see, 15Would it contempt or bounty be? 16This is such refin'd distress, 17That thy sad Lovers sigh for less, 18Though thou their hopes hast overthrown, 19They lose but what they ne're have known, 20But I am plunder'd from my own. 21How canst thou thy Rosania prize, 22And be so cruel and so wise? 23For if such rigid policy 24Must thy resolves dispute with me, 25Where then is friendship's victory? 26Kindness is of so brave a make 27'Twil rather death thenn004n004thanbondage take, 28So that if thine no power can have, 29Give it and me one common grave, 30But quickly either kill or save.