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Short poem

Abraham Cowley (1618-1667)

The Given Heart

              1I wonder what those lovers mean, who say
              2    They have giv'n their hearts away.
              3    Some good kind lover tell me how;
              4For mine is but a torment to me now.

              5  If so it be one place both hearts contain,
              6    For what do they complain?
              7    What courtesy can Love do more,
              8Than to join hearts that parted were before?

              9  Woe to her stubborn heart, if once mine come
            10    Into the self-same room;
            11    'Twill tear and blow up all within,
            12Like a granado shot into a magazine.

            13  Then shall Love keep the ashes, and torn parts,
            14    Of both our broken hearts:
            15    Shall out of both one new one make,
            16From hers, th' allay; from mine, the metal take.

            17  For of her heart he from the flames will find
            18    But little left behind:
            19    Mine only will remain entire;
            20No dross was there, to perish in the fire.


12] granado: an explosive shell.

16] allay: alloy.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Abraham Cowley, The Mistresse (London: for Humphrey Mosely, 1647). Wing 6674.
First publication date: 1647
RPO poem editor: N. J. Endicott
RP edition: 2RP 1.451.
Recent editing: 4:2002/2/10

Rhyme: aabb

Other poems by Abraham Cowley