Abraham Cowley
Palma Vecchio. Blonde Woman. c1520.
Palma Vecchio. Blonde Woman., c1520.
National Gallery, London.

The Change      

LOVE in her Sunny Eyes does basking play ;
Love walks the pleasant Mazes of her Hair ;
Love does on both her Lips for ever stray ;
And sows and reaps a thousand kisses there.
In all her outward parts Love 's always seen ; 5
   But, oh, He never went within.

Within Love's foes, his greatest foes abide,
   Malice, Inconstancy, and Pride.
So the Earths face, Trees, Herbs, and Flowers do dress,
   With other beauties numberless : 10
But at the Center, Darkness is, and Hell
There wicked Spirits, and there the Damned dwell.

With me alas, quite contrary it fares ;
Darkness and Death lies in my weeping eyes,
Despair and Paleness in my face appears, 15
And Grief, and Fear, Love's greatest Enemies ;
But, like the Persian-Tyrant, Love within
   Keeps his proud Court, and ne'er is seen.

Oh take my Heart, and by that means you'll prove
   Within too stor'd enough of Love 20
Give me but Yours, I'll by that change so thrive,
   That Love in all my parts shall live.
So powerful is this change, it render can,
My outside Woman, and your inside Man.


The Oxford Book of Seventeenth Century Verse.
H. J. C. Grierson and G. Bullough, Eds. 
Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1934.  693-694.

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