Abraham Cowley

from "The Mistress"


It gave a piteous groan, and so it broke;
      In vain it something would have spoke:
      The love within too strong for 't was,
Like poison put into a Venice-glass.

I thought that this some remedy might prove;
      But oh, the mighty serpent Love,
      Cut by this chance in pieces small,
In all still liv'd, and still it stung in all.

And now, alas! each little broken part
      Feels the whole pain of all my heart;
      And every smallest corner still
Lives with that torment which the whole did kill.

Even so rude armies, when the field they quit,
      And into several quarters get;
      Each troop does spoil and ruin more
Than all join'd in one body did before.

How many Loves reign in my bosom now!
      How many loves, yet all of you!
      Thus have I chang'd with evil fate
My Monarch-love into a Tyrant-state.

Cowley, Abraham. The Works of Mr. A. Cowley. vol 2.
Richard Hurd, ed.
London: John Sharpe, 1809.  80-81.

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