To Althea, from prison
When Love with unconfined wings
Hovers within my Gates;
And my divine Althea brings
To whisper at the Grates:
When I lye tangled in her haire,
[And]1 fetterd to her eye;
The Gods, that wanton in the Aire,
Know no such Liberty.
When flowing Cups run swiftly round
With no allaying Thames,
Our carelesse heads with Roses [bound]2,
Our hearts with Loyall Flames;
When thirsty griefe in Wine we steepe,
When Healths and draughts go free,
Fishes that tipple in the Deepe,
Know no such Libertie.
When (like committed Linnets) I
With shriller throat shall sing
The sweetnes, Mercy, Majesty,
And glories of my KING;
When I shall voyce aloud, how Good
He is, how Great should be;
[Inlarged]3 Winds that curle the Flood,
Know no such Liberty.
Stone Walls doe not a Prison make,
Nor I'ron bars a Cage;
Mindes innocent and quiet take
That for an Hermitage;
If I have freedome in my Love,
And in my soule am free;
Angels alone that sore above,
Injoy such Liberty.
C. Parry sets stanzas 1-2, 4
View original text (without footnotes)
1 Parry: "Or"
2 Parry: "crowned"
3 Quilter: "enlargèd"
Submitted by Ted Perry
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by J. Frederick Keel (1871 - 1954), "To Althea, from prison" [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]
- by Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, Sir (1848 - 1918), "To Althea, from prison", 1895, published 1895, stanzas 1-2,4 [voice and piano], from English Lyrics, Third Set, no. 3. [ sung text checked 1 time]
- by Roger Quilter (1877 - 1953), "To Althea, from prison", op. 28 no. 4 (1925), published 1926 [voice and piano], from Five Jacobean Lyrics, no. 4, London, Boosey [ sung text checked 1 time]
- by Maude Valérie White (1855 - 1937), "To Althea from prison", published 1882 [voice and piano], London: Boosey & Co. [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]
Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:39
Line count: 32
Word count: 170
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