Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Licia
Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
An Ode: Love, I repent me that I thought
Giles Fletcher (1586?–1623)
LOVE, I repent me that I thought
My sighs and languish dearly bought:
For sighs and languish both did prove
That he that languished sighed for love.
Cruel rigour, foe to State,        5
Looks disdainful, fraught with hate,
I did blame: but had no cause
(Love hath eyes, but hath no laws).
    She was sad, and could not choose
To see me sigh, and sit and muse.        10
We both did love, and both did doubt [fear]
Lest any should our love find out.
Our hearts did speak by sighs most hidden;
This means was left: all else forbidden.
    I did frown, her love to try        15
She did sigh, and straight did cry.
Both of us did signs believe
Yet either grievèd friend to grieve.
I did look, and then did smile:
She left sighing all that while.        20
Both were glad to see that change;
Things in love that are not strange.
    Suspicion, foolish foe to Reason,
Caused me seek to find some treason
I did court another Dame.        25
(False in love, it is a shame!)
She was sorry this to view,
Thinking faith was proved untrue.
    Then she swore, She would not love
One, whom false She once did prove.        30
    I did vow I never meant
From promise made, for to relent.
    The more I said, the worse she thought:
My oaths and vows were deemed as nought.
“False!” She said, “how can it be,        35
To court another; yet love me?
Crowns and Love no partners brook:
If she be liked, I am forsook!
Farewell, False! and love her still!
Your chance was good, but mine was ill.        40
No harm to you: but this I crave,
That your new Love may you deceive!
And jest with you, as you have done:
For light ’s the love that ’s quickly won.”
    “Kind and fair Sweet, once believe me!        45
Jest I did; but not to grieve thee.
Court I did, but did not love.
Words, and sighs, and what I spent
In show to her; to you were meant.
Fond [foolish] I was, your love to cross        50
(Jesting love oft brings this loss).
Forget this fault! and love your friend,
Which vows his truth unto the end!”
    “Content,” She said, “if this you keep.”
    Thus both did kiss, and both did weep.        55
For women long they cannot chide:
As I, by proof, in this have tried.

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