Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE CRUEL MISTRESS, by THOMAS CAREW



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THE CRUEL MISTRESS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: We read of kings and gods that kindly took
Last Line: That burned the temple where she was adored.
Subject(s): Nebuchadrezzar Ii (630-562 B.c.)


We read of kings and gods that kindly took
A pitcher filled with water from the brook,
But I have daily tendered without thanks
Rivers of tears that overflow their banks;
A slaughtered bull will appease angry Jove,
A horse the Sun, a lamb the god of love,
But she disdains the spotless sacrifice
Of a pure heart that at her altar lies.
Vesta is not displeased if her chaste urn
Do with repaired fuel ever burn,
But my saint frowns, though to her honoured name,
I consecrate a never-dying flame.
The Assyrian king did none i' the furnace throw
But those that to his image did now bow, --
With bended knees I daily worship her,
Yet she consumes her own idolater.
Of such a goddess no times leave record,
That burned the temple where she was adored.






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