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HEROIC LOVE, by             Poem Explanation         Poet's Biography
First Line: My dear and only love, I pray
Last Line: So I can love no more.
Alternate Author Name(s): Montrose, 1st Marquis Of
Variant Title(s): An Excellent New Ballad;i'll Never Love Thee More;montrose's Love;a Proper New Ballad;montrose To His Mistress
Subject(s): Courage; Fidelity; Love - Complaints; Valor; Bravery; Faithfulness; Constancy

MY dear and only love, I pray,
This noble world of thee
Be governed by no other sway
But purest monarchie.
For if confusion have a part,
Which virtuous souls abhore,
And hold a synod in thy heart,
I'll never love thee more.
Like Alexander I will reign,
And I will reign alone,
My thoughts shall evermore disdain
A rival on my throne.
He either fears his fate too much,
Or his deserts are small,
That puts it not unto the touch,
To win or lose it all.
But I must rule and govern still
And always give the law,
And have each subject at my will,
And all to stand in awe.
But 'gainst my battery if I find
Thou shun'st the prize so sore
As that thou set'st me up a blind,
I'll never love thee more.
If in the empire of thy heart,
Where I should solely be,
Another do pretend a part,
And dares to vie with me;
Or if committees thou erect,
And go on such a score,
I'll sing and laugh at thy neglect,
And never love thee more.
But if thou wilt be constant then,
And faithful of thy word,
I'll make thee glorious by my pen,
And famous by my sword.
I'll serve thee in such noble ways
Was never heard before;
I'll crown and deck thee all with bays,
And love thee ever more.
My dear and only love, take heed,
Lest thou thyself expose,
And let all longing lovers feed
Upon such looks as those.
A marble wall then build about,
Beset without a door;
But if thou let thy heart fly out,
I'll never love thee more.
Let not their oaths, like volleys shot,
Make any breach at all;
Nor smoothness of their language plot
Which was to scale the wall;
Nor balls of wild-fire love consume
The shrine which I adore;
For if such smoke about thee fume,
I'll never love thee more.
I think thy virtues be too strong
To suffer by surprise;
Those victualled by my love so long,
The siege at length must rise,
And leave thee ruled in that health
And state thou wast before;
But if thou turn a commonwealth,
I'll never love thee more.
Or if by fraud, or by consent,
Thy heart to ruine come,
I'll sound no trumpet as I wont,
Nor march by tuck of drum;
But hold my arms, like ensigns, up,
Thy falsehood to deplore,
And bitterly will sigh and weep,
And never love thee more.
I'll do with thee as Nero did
When Rome was set on fire,
Not only all relief forbid,
But to a hill retire,
And scorn to shed a tear to see
Thy spirit grown so poor;
But smiling sing, until I die,
I'll never love thee more.
Yet, for the love I bare thee once,
Lest that thy name should die,
A monument of marble-stone
The truth shall testifie;
That every pilgrim passing by
May pity and deplore
My case, and read the reason why
I can love thee no more.
The golden laws of love shall be
Upon this pillar hung, --
A simple heart, a single eye,
A true and constant tongue;
Let no man for more love pretend
Than he has hearts in store;
True love begun shall never end;
Love one and love no more.
Then shall thy heart be set by mine,
But in far different case;
For mine was true, so was not thine,
But lookt like Janus' face.
For as the waves with every wind,
So sail'st thou every shore,
And leav'st my constant heart behind, --
How can I love thee more?
My heart shall with the sun be fixed
For constancy most strange,
And thine shall with the moon be mixed,
Delighting ay in change.
Thy beauty shined at first more bright,
And woe is me therefore,
That ever I found thy love so light
I could love thee no more!
The misty mountains, smoking lakes,
The rocks' resounding echo,
The whistling wind that murmur makes,
Shall with me sing hey ho!
The tossing seas, the tumbling boats,
Tears dropping from each shore,
Shall tune with me their turtle notes --
I'll never love thee more.
As doth the turtle, chaste and true,
Her fellow's death regrete,
And daily mourns for his adieu,
And ne'er renews her mate;
So, though thy faith was never fast,
Which grieves me wondrous sore,
Yet I shall live in love so chaste,
That I shall love no more.
And when all gallants ride about
These monuments to view,
Whereon is written, in and out,
Thou traitorous and untrue;
Then in a passion they shall pause,
And thus say, sighing sore,
"Alas! he had too just a cause
Never to love thee more."
And when that tracing goddess Fame
From east to west shall flee,
She shall record it, to thy shame,
How thou hast moved me;
And how in odds our love was such
As few have been before;
Thou loved too many, and I too much,
So I can love no more.

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