Abraham Cowley

(1618 – 28 July 1667 / London)

The Change Poem by Abraham Cowley


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;
But, oh, He never went within.

Within Love's foes, his greatest foes abide,
Malice, Inconstance, and Pride.
So the Earth's face, trees, herbs, and flowers do dress,
With other beauties numberless;
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,
And grief, and fear, Love's greatest enemies;
But, like the Persian tyrant, Love within
Keeps his proud court, and ne're is seen.

Oh take my heart, and by that means you'll prove
Within, too stor'd enough of Love;
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.

Submitted: Monday, April 19, 2010

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