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Nicholas Breton

(1546 - 1626 / England)

A Quarrel With Love


Oh that I could write a story
Of love's dealing with affection!
How he makes the spirit sorry
That is touch'd with his infection.

But he doth so closely wind him,
In the plaits of will ill-pleased,
That the heart can never find him
Till it be too much diseased.

'Tis a subtle kind or spirit
Of a venom-kind of nature,
That can, like a coney-ferret,
Creep unawares upon a creature.

Never eye that can behold it,
Though it worketh first by seeing;
Nor conceit that can unfold it,
Though in thoughts be all its being.

Oh! it maketh old men witty,
Young men wanton, women idle,
While that patience weeps, for pity
Reason bite not nature's bridle.

What it is, in conjecture;
Seeking much, but nothing finding;
Like to fancy's architecture
With illusions reason blinding.

Yet, can beauty so retain it,
In the profit of her service,
That she closely can maintain it
For her servant chief on office?

In her eye she chiefly breeds it;
In her cheeks she chiefly hides it;
In her servant's faith she feeds it,
While his only heart abides it.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010

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