from "The Mistress"
No; to what purpose should I speak?
No, wretched heart! swell till you break.
She cannot love me if she would;
And, to say truth, 'twere pity that she should.
No; to the grave thy sorrows bear;
As silent as they will be there:
Since that lov'd hand this mortal wound does give,
So handsomely the thing contrive,
That she may guiltless of it live;
So perish, that her killing thee
May a chance-medley,and no murder, be.
'Tis nobler much for me, that I
By her beauty, not her anger, die:
This will look justly, and become
An execution; that, a martyrdom.
The censuring world will ne'er refrain
From judging men by thunder slain.
She must be angry, sure, if I should be
So bold to ask her to make me,
By being hers, happier than she!
I will not; 't is a milder fate
To fall by her not loving, than her hate.
And yet this death of mine, I fear,
Will ominous to her appear;
When, sound in every other part,
Her sacrifice is found without an heart;
For the last tempest of my death
Shall sigh out that too with my breath.
Then shall the world my noble ruin see,
Some pity and some envy me;
Then she herself, the mighty she,
Shall grace my funerals with this truth;
" 'T was only Love destroy'd the gentle youth."
Cowley, Abraham. The Works of Mr. A. Cowley. vol 2.
Richard Hurd, ed.
London: John Sharpe, 1809. 71-2.
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