© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
To Lucasta, Going to the Wars

To Lucasta, Going to the Wars


by Richard Lovelace

Chastity and Purity

Symbol Analysis

Despite all the romance, love in this poem is a very chaste and non-sexual thing for the most part. There are references to a "nunnery" (2) and the word "Lucasta" itself comes from two Latin words and means "chaste light" (lux and castus/casta). In other words, the speaker is at pains in this poem to paint a picture of pure almost heavenly or celestial, love… that he's willing to ditch for battle.

  • Title: The name "Lucasta" comes from the Latin words for light (lux) and chaste/pure (castus/casta). Awesome or awkward nickname? You decide.
  • Line 2: The speaker calls Lucasta's "breast" a nunnery. While most ladies probably wouldn't take that as a compliment, here it doesn't sound so bad. And obviously, they're not literally a nunnery so he's using a metaphor to describe the chastity and non-sexual character of Lucasta's body.
  • Line 3: The speaker calls Lucasta's breast "chaste." That's a new one on Shmoop.
  • Lines 11-12: The speaker says he couldn't love Lucasta if he didn't love honor more; this suggests something pure about his love for her. It's tied up with his love of honor, and that's definitely a good thing.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...