Richard Lovelace

(1618-1657 / London / England)

A Forsaken Lady To Her False Servant That Is Disdained By His New Mistriss


Were it that you so shun me, 'cause you wish
(Cruels't) a fellow in your wretchednesse,
Or that you take some small ease in your owne
Torments, to heare another sadly groane,
I were most happy in my paines, to be
So truely blest, to be so curst by thee:
But oh! my cries to that doe rather adde,
Of which too much already thou hast had,
And thou art gladly sad to heare my moane;
Yet sadly hearst me with derision.

Thou most unjust, that really dust know,
And feelst thyselfe the flames I burne in. Oh!
How can you beg to be set loose from that
Consuming stake you binde another at?

Uncharitablest both wayes, to denie
That pity me, for which yourself must dye,
To love not her loves you, yet know the pain
What 'tis to love, and not be lov'd againe.

Flye on, flye on, swift Racer, untill she
Whom thou of all ador'st shall learne of thee
The pace t'outfly thee, and shall teach thee groan,
What terrour 'tis t'outgo and be outgon.

Nor yet looke back, nor yet must we
Run then like spoakes in wheeles eternally,
And never overtake? Be dragg'd on still
By the weake cordage of your untwin'd will
Round without hope of rest? No, I will turne,
And with my goodnes boldly meete your scorne;
My goodnesse which Heav'n pardon, and that fate
MADE YOU HATE LOVE, AND FALL IN LOVE WITH HATE.

But I am chang'd! Bright reason, that did give
My soule a noble quicknes, made me live
One breath yet longer, and to will, and see
Hath reacht me pow'r to scorne as well as thee:
That thou, which proudly tramplest on my grave,
Thyselfe mightst fall, conquer'd my double slave:
That thou mightst, sinking in thy triumphs, moan,
And I triumph in my destruction.

Hayle, holy cold! chaste temper, hayle! the fire
Rav'd o're my purer thoughts I feel t' expire,
And I am candied ice. Yee pow'rs! if e're
I shall be forc't unto my sepulcher,
Or violently hurl'd into my urne,
Oh make me choose rather to freeze than burne.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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