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



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THE SHORT WOOING, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Like an oblation set before a shrine
Last Line: To stick the coffin of rejected love.
Subject(s): Love - Unrequited


LIKE an oblation set before a shrine,
Fair one! I offer up this heart of mine.
Whether the Saint accept my gift or no,
I'll neither fear nor doubt before I know.
For he whose faint distrust prevents reply,
Doth his own suit's denial prophesy.

Your will the sentence is; who free as Fate
Can bid my love proceed, or else retreat.
And from short views that verdict is decreed
Which seldom doth one audience exceed.
Love asks no dull probation, but like light
Conveys his nimble influence at first sight.

I need not therefore importune or press;
This were t' extort unwilling happiness:
And much against affection might I sin:
To tire and weary what I seek to win.
Towns which by ling'ring siege enforced be
Oft make both sides repent the victory.

Be Mistress of yourself: and let me thrive
Or suffer by your own prerogative.
Yet stay, since you are Judge, who in one breath
Bear uncontrolled power of Life and Death,
Remember (Sweet) pity doth best become
Those lips which must pronounce a suitor's doom.

If I find that, my spark of chaste desire
Shall kindle into Hymen's holy fire:
Else like sad flowers will these verses prove,
To stick the coffin of rejected Love.





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