The cavaliers poetry – Sir John Suckling (1609-1642)

Why so Pale and Wan?

Sir John Suckling

WHY so pale and wan, fond lover?
   Prithee, why so pale?
Will, when looking well can’t move her,
   Looking ill prevail?
   Prithee, why so pale?

Why so dull and mute, young sinner?
   Prithee, why so mute?
Will, when speaking well can’t win her,
   Saying nothing do ‘t?
   Prithee, why so mute?

Quit, quit for shame! This will not move;
   This cannot take her.
If of herself she will not love,
   Nothing can make her:
   The devil take her!

The Constant Lover

Sir John Suckling

Out upon it, I have lov’d
Three whole days together;
And am like to love three more,
If it prove fair weather.

Time shall molt away his wings
Ere he shall discover
In such whole wide world again
Such a constant lover.

But the spite on’t is, no praise
Is due at all to me:
Love with me had made no stays
Had it any been but she.

Had it any been but she
And that very face,
There had been at least ere this
A dozen dozen in her place.

A Doubt of Martyrdom

Sir John Suckling

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!

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