Richard Lovelace

(1618-1657 / London / England)

A Loose Saraband


I.
Ah me! the little tyrant theefe!
As once my heart was playing,
He snatcht it up and flew away,
Laughing at all my praying.

II.
Proud of his purchase, he surveys
And curiously sounds it,
And though he sees it full of wounds,
Cruel one, still he wounds it.

III.
And now this heart is all his sport,
Which as a ball he boundeth
From hand to breast, from breast to lip,
And all its rest confoundeth.

IV.
Then as a top he sets it up,
And pitifully whips it;
Sometimes he cloathes it gay and fine,
Then straight againe he strips it.

V.
He cover'd it with false reliefe,
Which gloriously show'd it;
And for a morning-cushionet
On's mother he bestow'd it.

VI.
Each day, with her small brazen stings,
A thousand times she rac'd it;
But then at night, bright with her gemmes,
Once neere her breast she plac'd it.

VII.
There warme it gan to throb and bleed;
She knew that smart, and grieved;
At length this poore condemned heart
With these rich drugges repreeved.

VIII.
She washt the wound with a fresh teare,
Which my LUCASTA dropped,
And in the sleave-silke of her haire
'Twas hard bound up and wrapped.

IX.
She proab'd it with her constancie,
And found no rancor nigh it;
Only the anger of her eye
Had wrought some proud flesh by it.

X.
Then prest she narde in ev'ry veine,
Which from her kisses trilled;
And with the balme heald all its paine,
That from her hand distilled.

XI.
But yet this heart avoyds me still,
Will not by me be owned;
But's fled to its physitian's breast;
There proudly sits inthroned.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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