Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. II. Ben Jonson to Dryden
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. II. The Seventeenth Century: Ben Jonson to Dryden
Against Love
By Sir John Denham (1615–1669)
LOVE making all things else his foes
Like a fierce torrent overflows
Whatever doth his course oppose.
This was the cause the poets sung,
Thy Mother from the sea was sprung,        5
But they were mad to make thee young.
Her father, not her son, art thou;
From our desires our actions grow,
And from the cause the effect must flow.
Love is as old as place or time;        10
’Twas he the fatal tree did climb,
Grandsire of Father Adam’s crime.
Love drowsy days and stormy nights
Makes, and breaks friendship, whose delights
Feed, but not glut our appetites.        15
How happy he, that loves not, lives!
Him neither hope nor fear deceives,
To Fortune who no hostage gives.
How unconcerned in things to come!
If here he frets, he finds at Rome,        20
At Paris, or Madrid his home.
Secure from low and private ends,
His life, his zeal, his wealth attends
His prince, his country and his friends.

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