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



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THE RETREAT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Pursue no more (my thoughts!) that false unkind
Last Line: As 'tis my firm resolve and last farewell.
Subject(s): Farewell; Parting


PURSUE no more (my thoughts!) that false unkind,
You may as soon imprison the North-wind;
Or catch the lightning as it leaps; or reach
The leading billow first ran down the breach;
Or undertake the flying clouds to track
In the same path they yesterday did rack.
Then, like a torch turn'd downward, let the same
Desire which nourish'd it, put out your flame.

Lo! thus I do divorce thee from my breast,
False to thy vow, and traitor to my rest!
Henceforth thy tears shall be (though thou repent)
Like pardons after execution sent.
Nor shalt thou ever my love's story read,
But as some epitaph of what is dead.
So may my hope on future blessings dwell,
As 'tis my firm resolve and last farewell.





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