Abraham Cowley

from "The Mistress"


      INDEED I must confess,
      When souls mix 't is an happiness;
But not complete till bodies too do combine,
And closely as our minds together join:
But half of heaven the souls in glory taste,
      Till by love in heaven, at last,
      Their bodies too are plac'd.

      In thy immortal part
      Man, as well as I, thou art;
But something't is that differs thee and me;
And we must one even in that difference be.
I thee, both as a man and woman, prize;
      For a perfect love implies
      Love in all capacities.

      Can that for true love pass,
      When a fair woman courts her glass?
Something unlike must in love's likeness be;
His wonder is, one, and variety:
For he, whose soul nought but a soul can move,
      Does a new Narcissus prove,
      And his own image love.

      That souls do beauty know,
      'T is to the bodies' help they owe;
If, when they know 't, they straight abuse that trust,
And shut the body from't, 't is as unjust
As if I brought my dearest friend to see
      My mistress, and at th' instant he
      Should steal her quite from me.

Cowley, Abraham. The Works of Mr. A. Cowley. vol 2.
Richard Hurd, ed.
London: John Sharpe, 1809.  16-17.

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