The most romantic love poems


On Woman's Inconstancy

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I Lov'd thee once, I'll love no more,
  Thine be the grief as is the blame;
Thou art not what thou wert before,
  What reason I should be the same?
    He that can love unlov'd again,
    Hath better store of love than brain:
  God send me love my debts to pay,
  While unthrifts fool their love away.

Nothing could have my love o'erthrown,
  If thou hadst still continued mine;
Yea, if thou hadst remain'd thy own,
  I might perchance have yet been thine.
    But thou thy freedom did recall,
    That if thou might elsewhere inthral;
  And then how could I but disdain
  A captive's captive to remain?

When new desires had conquer'd thee,
  And chang'd the object of thy will,
It had been lethargy in me,
  Not constancy to love thee still.
    Yea it had been a sin to go
    And prostitute affection so,
  Since we are taught no prayers to say
  To such as must to others pray.

Yet do thou glory in thy choice,
  Thy choice of his good fortune's boast;
I'll neither grieve nor yet rejoice
  To see him gain what I have lost;
    The height of my disdain shall be,
    To laugh at him, to blush for thee;
  To love thee still, but go no more
  A-begging to a beggar's door.

Sir Robert Ayton (1570 - 1638)


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