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Sir George Etherege (ca. 1635-1691)

To a Lady, Asking him how Long he would Love her


              1It is not, Celia, in our power
              2      To say how long our love will last;
              3It may be we within this hour
              4      May lose those joys we now do taste:
              5The blessed, that immortal be,
              6From change in love are only free.

              7Then, since we mortal lovers are,
              8      Ask not how long our love will last;
              9But while it does, let us take care
            10      Each minute be with pleasure past.
            11Were it not madness to deny
            12To live, because w'are sure to die?

Notes

1] A version varying in the number of stanzas is to be found in a song book of 1667.


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: A Collection of Poems ... upon Several Occasions (1672; anonymously).
First publication date: 1672
RPO poem editor: G. G. Falle
RP edition: 3RP 2.55.
Recent editing: 2:2002/4/18

Rhyme: ababcc


Other poems by Sir George Etherege