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TO HIS FORSAKEN MISTRESS, by             Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography

"To His Forsaken Mistress" is a poem by Robert Ayton that was first published in 1630. The poem explores the themes of love, loss, and the pain of rejection.

Robert Ayton was a Scottish poet and diplomat who lived from 1570 to 1638. He was a member of the court of King James VI and I, and wrote several works of poetry and prose throughout his career. Ayton was known for his lyric poetry, which often explored themes of love and romance.

The poem is structured in six stanzas, each with four lines. The first stanza introduces the central theme of the poem, describing the pain and anguish that the speaker feels after being rejected by his mistress. The following stanzas describe the speaker's feelings of despair and heartbreak, with the speaker noting the depth of his love for his mistress.

Throughout the poem, Ayton's language is poetic and evocative, using vivid imagery and metaphor to convey the complexities of love and loss. The opening lines, "I have loved thee, lo, this while, / Ere I knew thy face or name," immediately capture the reader's attention, setting the tone for the rest of the work.

The poem's themes of love and loss are particularly prominent. The speaker notes how his love for his mistress has sustained him through difficult times, describing how "In sorrow and in sickness too, / With joy and bliss I thought on thee." The poem also explores the pain of rejection, noting how "And though thou hast now scorn'd me quite, / And left me to my ghostly plight," suggesting that the speaker has been deeply hurt by his mistress's rejection.

At the same time, the poem also acknowledges the power and resilience of love. The final stanza notes how "But yet I love thee, and will do, / And kiss thee yet, ere I die." This image suggests that even though the speaker has been rejected by his mistress, his love for her remains strong and enduring.

Overall, "To His Forsaken Mistress" is a deeply moving and powerful work of poetry that explores some of the most fundamental aspects of the human experience. Through its vivid imagery, powerful language, and masterful structure, it conveys a sense of the profound impact that love and rejection can have on our lives, while also acknowledging the power and resilience of love.

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