Richard Lovelace

(1618-1657 / London / England)

Against The Love Of Great Ones. - Poem by Richard Lovelace

Vnhappy youth, betrayd by Fate
To such a love hath sainted hate,
And damned those celestiall bands
Are onely knit with equal hands;
The love of great ones is a love,
Gods are incapable to prove:
For where there is a joy uneven,
There never, never can be Heav'n:
'Tis such a love as is not sent
To fiends as yet for punishment;
IXION willingly doth feele
The gyre of his eternal wheele,
Nor would he now exchange his paine
For cloudes and goddesses againe.

Wouldst thou with tempests lye? Then bow
To th' rougher furrows of her brow,
Or make a thunder-bolt thy choyce?
Then catch at her more fatal voyce;
Or 'gender with the lightning? trye
The subtler flashes of her eye:
Poore SEMELE wel knew the same,
Who both imbrac't her God and flame;
And not alone in soule did burne,
But in this love did ashes turne.

How il doth majesty injoy
The bow and gaity oth' boy,
As if the purple-roabe should sit,
And sentence give ith' chayr of wit.

Say, ever-dying wretch, to whom
Each answer is a certaine doom,
What is it that you would possesse,
The Countes, or the naked Besse?
Would you her gowne or title do?
Her box or gem, the thing or show?
If you meane HER, the very HER,
Abstracted from her caracter,
Unhappy boy! you may as soone
With fawning wanton with the Moone,
Or with an amorous complaint
Get prostitute your very saint;
Not that we are not mortal, or
Fly VENUS altars, and abhor
The selfesame knack, for which you pine;
But we (defend us!) are divine,
[Not] female, but madam born, and come
From a right-honourable wombe.
Shal we then mingle with the base,
And bring a silver-tinsell race?
Whilst th' issue noble wil not passe
The gold alloyd (almost halfe brasse),
And th' blood in each veine doth appeare,
Part thick Booreinn, part Lady Cleare;
Like to the sordid insects sprung
From Father Sun and Mother Dung:
Yet lose we not the hold we have,
But faster graspe the trembling slave;
Play at baloon with's heart, and winde
The strings like scaines, steale into his minde
Ten thousand false and feigned joyes
Far worse then they; whilst, like whipt boys,
After this scourge hee's hush with toys.

This heard, Sir, play stil in her eyes,
And be a dying, live like flyes
Caught by their angle-legs, and whom
The torch laughs peece-meale to consume.


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Read poems about / on: purple, hate, silver, fate, father, mother, joy, alone, love, sun, lost, spring



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002



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