Sir John Suckling


MY whining lover, what needs all
These vows of life monastical,
Despairs, retirements, jealousies,
And subtile sealing up of eyes ?
Come, come, be wise ; return again ;
A finger burnt 's as great a pain ;
And the same physick, selfsame art
Cures that, would cure a flaming heart,
Wouldst thou, whilst yet the fire is in,
But hold it to the fire again.
If you, dear sir, the plague have got,
What matter is 't whether or not
They let you in the same house lie,
Or carry you abroad to die ?
He, whom the plague or love once takes,
Every room a pest-house makes.
Absence were good if 't were but sense,
That only holds th' intelligence.
Pure love alone no hurt would do ;
But love is love, and magick too,
Brings a mistress a thousand miles,
And the sleight of looks beguiles,
Makes her entertain thee there,
And the same time your rival here ;
And (O, the devil !) that she should
Say finer things now than she would ;
So nobly fancy doth supply
What the dull sense lets fall and die.
Beauty like man's old enemy, 's known
To tempt him most when he's alone :
The air of some wild o'ergrown wood
Or pathless grove is the boy's food.
Return then back, and feed thine eye,
Feed all thy senses, and feast high :
Spare diet is the cause love lasts ;
For surfeits sooner kill than fasts.

Suckling, John. The Works of Sir John Suckling. A. Hamilton Thompson, ed.
London: George Routledge & Sons, Ltd., 1910. 23-24.

to Works of Suckling

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