by Sir John Suckling

        THERE never yet was honest man
            That ever drove the trade of love ;
        It is impossible, nor can
            Integrity our ends promove ;
For kings and lovers are alike in this,
That their chief art in reign dissembling is.

        Here we are lov'd, and there we love ;
            Good nature now and passion strive
        Which of the two should be above,
            And laws unto the other give.
So we false fire with art sometimes discover,
And the true fire with the same art do cover.

        What rack can fancy find so high ?
            Here we must court, and here engage,
        Though in the other place we die.
            O, 'tis torture all, and cosenage !
And which the harder is I cannot tell,
To hide true love, or make false love look well.

        Since it is thus, god of desire,
            Give me thy honesty again,
        And take thy brands back, and thy fire ;
            I'm weary of the state I'm in :
Since (if the very best should now befall)
Love's triumph must be Honour's funeral.

Suckling, John. The Works of Sir John Suckling. A. Hamilton Thompson, ed.
London: George Routledge & Sons, Ltd., 1910. 8.

to Works of Suckling

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