A Celebration of Women Writers

"Penelope to Ulysses" [fragment] by Mrs. Anne Killigrew (c.1660-1685).
From Killigrew, Anne. Poems  1686. Facs. edn., ed. R. E. Morton. Gainesville, Florida: Scholars, 1967. pp. 81-82.

[Page 81]

These following Fragments among many more were found among her Papers.

Penelope to Ulysses.

REturn my dearest Lord, at length return,
Let me no longer your sad absence mourn,
Ilium in Dust, does no more Work afford,
No more Employment for your Wit or Sword.

  Why did not the fore-seeing Gods destroy,
Helin the Fire-brand both of Greece and Troy,
E're yet the Fatal Youth her Face had seen,
E're lov'd and born away the wanton Queen ?
Then had been stopt the mighty Floud of Woe,
Which now both Greece and Phrygia over-flow:
Then I, these many Teares, should not have shed,
Nor thou, the source of them, to War been led:
I should not then have trembled at the Fame
Of Hectors warlike and victorious Name.

[Page 82]

  Why did I wish the Noble Hector Slain ?
Why Ilium ruin'd ? Rise, O rise again !
Again great City flourish from thine Urne:
For though thou'rt burn'd, my Lord does not return.
Sometimes I think, (but O most Cruel Thought,)
That, for thy Absence, th'art thy self in fault:
That thou art captiv'd by some captive Dame,
Who, when thou fired'st Troy, did thee inflame
And now with her thou lead'st thy am'rous Life,
Forgetful, and despising of thy Wife.

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Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom