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(1606-1642)

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A Doubt of Martyrdom

O for some honest lover’s ghost,
Some kind unbodied post
Sent from the shades below!
I strangely long to know
Whether the noble chaplets wear
Those that their mistress’ scorn did bear
Or those that were used kindly.

For whatsoe’er they tell us here
To make those sufferings dear,
’Twill there, I fear, be found
That to the being crown’d
T’ have loved alone will not suffice,
Unless we also have been wise
And have our loves enjoy’d.

What posture can we think him in
That, here unloved, again
Departs, and ’s thither gone
Where each sits by his own?
Or how can that Elysium be
Where I my mistress still must see
Circled in other’s arms?

For there the judges all are just,
And Sophonisba must
Be his whom she held dear,
Not his who loved her here.
The sweet Philoclea, since she died,
Lies by her Pirocles his side,
Not by Amphialus.

Some bays, perchance, or myrtle bough
For difference crowns the brow
Of those kind souls that were
The noble martyrs here:
And if that be the only odds
(As who can tell?), ye kinder gods,
Give me the woman here!

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003


Read poems about / on: woman, fear, alone, women

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