Verse > John Dryden > Poems
John Dryden (1631–1700).  The Poems of John Dryden.  1913.
Songs from the Plays
“Why should a foolish Marriage Vow,” from Marriage-à-la-Mode
WHY should a foolish Marriage Vow
  Which long ago was made,
Oblige us to each other now
  When Passion is decay’d?
We lov’d, and we lov’d, as long as we cou’d,        5
  Till our Love was lov’d out in us both:
But our Marriage is dead, when the Pleasure is fled:
  ’Twas Pleasure first made it an Oath.
If I have Pleasures for a Friend,
  And farther Love in store,        10
What Wrong has he whose Joys did end,
  And who cou’d give no more?
’Tis a madness that he
Shou’d be jealous of me,
Or that I shou’d bar him of another:        15
For all we can gain is to give our selves pain,
When neither can hinder the other.

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