Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Cœlia
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Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
 
Cœlia
Sonnet XVIII. “I cannot conquer and be conquerèd!”
William Percy (1575–1648)
 
“I CANNOT conquer and be conquerèd!”
Then whole myself I yield unto thy favour!
Behold my thoughts float in an ocean, battered;
To be cast off, or wafted to thine harbour!
  If of the fame, thou wilt then take acceptance,        5
Stretch out thy fairest hand, as flag of peace!
If not, no longer keep us in attendance;
But all at once thy fiery shafts release!
  If thus I die, an honest cause of love
Will of my fates the rigour mitigate;        10
Those gracious ey’n, which will a Tartar move,
Will prove my case the less unfortunate.
  Although my friends may rue my chance for aye,
  It will be said, “He died for CŒLIA!”
 
 
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