The Thought

by Edward, Lord Herbert of Chirbury

If you do love as well as I,
Then every minute from your heart
        A thought doth part :
And wingèd with desire doth fly
Till it hath met, in a straight line,
        A thought of mine
So like to yours, we cannot know
Whether of both doth come, or go,
        Till we define
Which of us two that thought doth owe.

I say then that your thoughts which pass,
Are not so much the thoughts you meant
        As those I sent :
For as my image in a glass
Belongs not to the glass you see
        But unto me,
So when your fancy is so clear
That you would think you saw me there,
        It needs must be
That it was I did first appear.

Likewise, when I send forth a thought,
My reason tells me, 'tis the same
        Which from you came,
And which your beauteous image wrought.
Thus while our thoughts by turns do lead,
        None can precede ;
And thus, while in each other's mind
Such interchangèd forms we find,
        Our loves may plead
To be of more than vulgar kind.

May you then often think on me,
And by that thinking know 'tis true
        I thought on you ;
I in the same belief will be :
While, by this mutual address,
        We will possess
A love must live, when we do die,
Which rare and secret property
        You will confess,
If you do love as well as I.

Whether of both]  Which of the two
owe]  own
I did]  I who did
must]  which must

Elizabethan and Seventeenth-Century Lyrics.
Matthew W. Black, Ed.
Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Company, 1938.  350-351.

to Lord Herbert

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