A Celebration of Women Writers

"On the Birth-day of Queen Katherine" by Mrs. Anne Killigrew (c.1660-1685).
From Killigrew, Anne. Poems 1686. Facs. edn., ed. R. E. Morton. Gainesville, Florida: Scholars, 1967. pp. 47-48.

On the Birth-Day of

Queen Katherine.

WHile yet it was the Empire of the Night,
And Stars still check'r'd Darkness with their Light,
From Temples round the cheerful Bells did ring,
But with the Peales a churlish Storm did sing.
I slumbr'd; and the Heavens like things did show,
Like things which I had seen and heard below.
Playing on Harps Angels did singing fly,
But through a cloudy and a troubl'd Sky,

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Some fixt a Throne, and Royal Robes display'd,
And then a Massie Cross upon it laid.
I wept: and earnestly implor'd to know,
Why Royal Ensigns were disposed so.
An Angel said, The Emblem thou hast seen,
Denotes the Birth-Day of a Saint and Queen.
Ah, Glorious Minister, I then reply'd,
Goodness and Bliss together do reside
In Heaven and thee, why then on Earth below
These two combin'd so rarely do we know ?
He said, Heaven so decrees: and such a Sable Morne
Was that, in which the Son of God was borne.
Then Mortal wipe thine Eyes, and cease to rave,
God darkn'd Heaven, when He the World did save.

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Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom