Who Ever Loved That Loved Not At First Sight? Poem by Christopher Marlowe

Who Ever Loved That Loved Not At First Sight?

Rating: 3.5


It lies not in our power to love or hate,
For will in us is overruled by fate.
When two are stripped, long ere the course begin,
We wish that one should love, the other win;

And one especially do we affect
Of two gold ingots, like in each respect:
The reason no man knows; let it suffice
What we behold is censured by our eyes.
Where both deliberate, the love is slight:
Who ever loved, that loved not at first sight?

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Babatunde Aremu 13 April 2012

This poem exposes individual limitation in falling in love. There is a force beyond ordinary sight that makes people to fall in love. Very wonderful poem, like it

15 4 Reply
Carlos Echeverria 13 April 2012

Love by reason can't hold a candle to love by heart.

14 4 Reply
Terence George Craddock 13 April 2010

The first two lines are particularly fitting, in an age of arranged marriages for position, power or family and parental decree, which Christopher Marlowe is referencing here. This was an age of individuals in service to their social allegiances, individual free will was not often an important part of a patriarchal society. Although clearly many have loved but not at first sight. However as Shakespeare aptly reminds us in Hamlet Act 1, scene 5, ‘There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.’ In Indonesia and throughout Asia arranged marriages and contract marriages are still common. For example contract marriages are arranged here for a day, a few days, a week or two, even occasionally a month and then the couple divorce at the prearranged time, and perhaps a little research regarding especially the number of Arab men coming here and participating in these contract marriages would astound you. These are religious not state marriages in Indonesia, a siri marriage in Islam, and the debate regarding if it is a form of prostitution is interesting. The dowry of a siri marriage in jewelry and money can be viewed as wealth for a poor kampung family. However any children of these contract marriage have no right to the father’s name, property, inheritance rights or even a birth certificate. Should the government here create a law to protect these women and children who are abandoned? Sadly the Universal Declaration of Human Rights lacks teeth in areas and countries of poverty. Indonesia is not however a poor country, it is a complex and intriguing archipelago of cultural diversity, with about 17000 islands spanning over 5000 km.

7 9 Reply
Rashmi Prakash 13 April 2014

It lies not in our power to love or hate, For will in us is overruled by fate. Disagree: The power of fate is turned with the will to do the right thing - Always When two are stripped, long ere the course begin, We wish that one should love, the other win; Disagree: Love does not lead to the path so that the Win-Win situation is born. It will lead lest Love is lost. And one especially do we affect Of two gold ingots, like in each respect: Agree: The effect on the entities can be described as mutual and expected. The reason no man knows; let it suffice What we behold is censured by our eyes. Agree: Here the words are actually describing the fact that is known and acknowledged likewise. Where both deliberate, the love is slight: Who ever loved, that loved not at first sight? Agree: It will be Love at 1st sight, the poets's words tend to roll down a nice pattern at the end.

7 7 Reply
Egal Bohen 13 July 2006

What an absolutely superb observation in verse

10 2 Reply
Varsha M 14 February 2021

Yes sir your words are true. We love because both invest. It's never first sight effect.

1 0 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 14 February 2021

This Marlowe poem is marvelous! . Oft ambigeuos but beautiful ten lines brevity. Bravo! 5 Stars! Congratulations as The Classic Poem Of The Day! CM is one of my fav. Classic poets

0 0 Reply
Shaun Cronick 07 April 2020

That big debate about Marlowe writings and Shakespeare. That one will never be resolved.

0 1 Reply
Seayee 12 February 2020

How to understand the sentence that We wish one should love, the other win? Dose it mean their must be a winner between the couples?

1 0 Reply
Jen Hunt 22 October 2018

I like it a lot, very interesting. Also, Christopher Marlowe and Shakespeare are the same person. Trust me

3 4 Reply
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Christopher Marlowe

Canterbury, England
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