Charles Cotton

(28 April 1630 – 16 February 1687 / Beresford Hall)

To Coelia


WHEN, Coelia, must my old day set,
   And my young morning rise
In beams of joy so bright as yet
   Ne'er bless'd a lover's eyes?
My state is more advanced than when
   I first attempted thee:
I sued to be a servant then,
   But now to be made free.

I've served my time faithful and true,
   Expecting to be placed
In happy freedom, as my due,
   To all the joys thou hast:
Ill husbandry in love is such
   A scandal to love's power,
We ought not to misspend so much
   As one poor short-lived hour.

Yet think not, sweet! I'm weary grown,
   That I pretend such haste;
Since none to surfeit e'er was known
   Before he had a taste:
My infant love could humbly wait
   When, young, it scarce knew how
To plead; but grown to man's estate,
   He is impatient now.

Submitted: Saturday, January 04, 2003

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