Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE FOFEITURE, by HENRY KING (1592-1669)



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THE FOFEITURE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: My dearest, to let you or the world know
Last Line: And take myself, as forfeited to you.


MY Dearest, To let you or the world know
What debt of service I do truly owe
To your unpattern'd self, were to require
A language only form'd in the desire
Of him that writes. It is the common fate
Of greatest duties, to evaporate
In silent meaning, as we often see
Fires by their too much fuel smother'd be:
Small obligations may find vent, and speak,
When greater the unable debtor break.
And such are mine to you, whose favour's store
Hath made me poorer then I was before;
For I want words and language to declare
How strict my bond, or large your bounties are.

Since nothing in my desp'rate fortune found,
Can payment make, nor yet the sum compound;
You must lose all, or else of force accept
The body of a bankrupt for your debt.
Then, Love, your bond to execution sue,
And take myself, as forfeited to you.





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