Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, INCONSTANCY, by ABRAHAM COWLEY

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INCONSTANCY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Five years ago (says story) I loved you
Last Line: Beauty and colour stay not when we dye.
Subject(s): Unfaithfulness; Infidelity; Adultery; Inconstancy

FIVE Years ago (sayes story) I lov'd you,
For which you call me most inconstant now:
Pardon me, Madam, you mistake the Man;
For I am not the same that I was than;
No Flesh is now the same 'twas then in me,
And that my mind is chang'd, your selfe may see.
The same Thoughts to retain still, and Intents,
Were more inconstant farre; for Accidents
Must of all things most strangely Inconstant prove,
If from one Subject they t' another move;
My Members then, the Father Members were,
From whence These take their birth, which now are here,
If then this Body love what th' other did,
'Twere Incest; which by Nature is forbid.
You might as well this Day inconstant name,
Because the Weather is not still the same
That it was yesterday; or blame the Year,
'Cause the Spring, Flowers; and Autumne Fruit does bear.
The World's a Scene of Changes, and to be
Constant, in Nature were Inconstancy;
For 'twere to break the Laws her self has made:
Our Substances themselves do fleet and fade;
The most fixt Being, still doth move and fly,
Swift as the Wings of Time 'tis measur'd by.
T' imagine then that Love should never cease
(Love which is but the Ornament of these)
Were quite as senselesse, as to wonder why
Beauty and Colour stay not when we dye.

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