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SIR JOHN SUCKLING

1609-1642

334                                       A Doubt of Martyrdom

O FOR some honest lovers ghost,
   Some kind unbodied post
     Sent from the shades below!
     I strangely long to know
Whether the noble chaplets wear
Those that their mistress scorn did bear
   Or those that were used kindly.
For whatsoeer they tell us here
   To make those sufferings dear,
     Twill there, I fear, be found
     That to the being crownd
T have loved alone will not suffice,
Unless we also have been wise
   And have our loves enjoyd.
What posture can we think him in
   That, here unloved, again
     Departs, and s thither gone
     Where each sits by his own?
Or how can that Elysium be
Where I my mistress still must see
   Circled in others arms?
For there the judges all are just,
   And Sophonisba must
     Be his whom she held dear,
     Not his who loved her here.
The sweet Philoclea, since she died,
Lies by her Pirocles his side,
     Not by Amphialus.
Some bays, perchance, or myrtle bough
   For difference crowns the brow
     Of those kind souls that were
     The noble martyrs here:
And if that be the only odds
(As who can tell?), ye kinder gods,
     Give me the woman here!

335                                     The Constant Lover

OUT upon it, I have loved
   Three whole days together!
And am like to love three more,
   If it prove fair weather.
Time shall moult away his wings
   Ere he shall discover
In the whole wide world again
   Such a constant lover.
But the spite on t is, no praise
   Is due at all to me:
Love with me had made no stays,
   Had it any been but she.
Had it any been but she,
   And that very face,
There had been at least ere this
   A dozen dozen in her place.

336                                        Why so Pale and Wan?

WHY so pale and wan, fond lover?
     Prithee, why so pale?
Will, when looking well cant move her,
     Looking ill prevail?
     Prithee, why so pale?
Why so dull and mute, young sinner?
     Prithee, why so mute?
Will, when speaking well cant win her,
     Saying nothing do t?
     Prithee, why so mute?
Quit, quit for shame! This will not move;
     This cannot take her.
If of herself she will not love,
     Nothing can make her:
     The devil take her!

337                                When, Dearest, I but think of Thee

WHEN, dearest I but think of thee,
Methinks all things that lovely be
   Are present, and my soul delighted:
For beauties that from worth arise
Are like the grace of deities,
   Still present with us, tho unsighted.
Thus while I sit and sigh the day
With all his borrowd lights away,
   Till nights black wings do overtake me,
Thinking on thee, thy beauties then,
As sudden lights do sleepy men,
   So they by their bright rays awake me.
Thus absence dies, and dying proves
No absence can subsist with loves
   That do partake of fair perfection:
Since in the darkest night they may
By loves quick motion find a way
   To see each other by reflection.

The waving sea can with each flood
Bathe some high promont that hath stood
   Far from the main up in the river:
O think not then but love can do
As much! for thats an ocean too,
   Which flows not every day, but ever!

 

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