Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AGAINST HOPE, by ABRAHAM COWLEY



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AGAINST HOPE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Hope, whose weak being ruin'd is
Last Line: More wayes, and turnes, then hunted nature knowes.
Subject(s): Hope; Optimism


Hope, whose weake being ruin'd is
Alike, if it succeed, and if it misse.
Whom Ill, and Good doth equally confound,
And both the hornes of Fates dilemma wound.
Vaine shadow! that doth vanish quite
Both at full noone, and perfect night.
The Fates have not a possibility
Of blessing thee.
If things then from their ends wee happy call,
'Tis hope is the most hopelesse thing of all.

Hope, thou bold taster of delight,
Who, in stead of doing so, devour'st it quite
Thou bring'st us an estate, yet leav'st us poore,
By clogging it with Legacies before.
The joyes, which wee intire should wed,
Come deflour'd virgins to our bed.
Good fortunes without gaine imported bee,
So mighty Custome's paid to thee.
For joy, like Wine kept close, doth better taste:
If it take ayre before, its spirits waste.

Hope, Fortunes cheating Lotterie,
Where for one prize an hundred blankes there bee.
Fond Archer Hope, who tak'st thine ayme so farre,
That still, or short, or wide thine arrowes are.
Thinne empty cloud, which th'eye deceives
With shapes that our owne fancie gives:
A cloud, which gilt, and painted now appeares,
But must drop presently in teares.
When thy false beames o're Reasons light prevaile,
By ignes fatui, not North starres we sayle.

Brother of Feare! more gaily clad
The merrier Foole o'th' two, yet quite as mad.
Sire of Repentance! Child of fond desire,
That blows the Chymicks, and the Lovers fire,
Still leading them insensibly on,
With the strange witchcraft of Anon.
By thee the one doth changing Nature through
Her endlesse Laborinths pursue,
And th'other chases woman, while she goes
More wayes, and turnes, then hunted Nature knowes.





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