Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. II. Love
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume II. Love.  1904.
V. Cautions and Complaints
“My dear and only love”
James Graham, Marquis of Montrose (1612–1650)
MY dear and only love, I pray,
  This noble world of thee
Be governed by no other sway
  But purest monarchie.
For if confusion have a part,        5
  Which virtuous souls abhore,
And hold a synod in thy heart,
  I ’ll never love thee more.
Like Alexander I will reign,
  And I will reign alone,        10
My thoughts shall evermore disdain
  A rival on my throne.
He either fears his fate too much,
  Or his deserts are small,
That puts it not unto the touch,        15
  To win or lose it all.
But I must rule and govern still
  And always give the law,
And have each subject at my will,
  And all to stand in awe.        20
But ’gainst my battery if I find
  Thou shun’st the prize so sore
As that thou set’st me up a blind,
  I ’ll never love thee more.
If in the empire of thy heart,        25
  Where I should solely be,
Another do pretend a part,
  And dares to vie with me;
Or if committees thou erect,
  And go on such a score,        30
I ’ll sing and laugh at thy neglect,
  And never love thee more.
But if thou wilt be constant then,
  And faithful of thy word,
I ’ll make thee glorious by my pen,        35
  And famous by my sword.
I ’ll serve thee in such noble ways
  Was never heard before;
I ’ll crown and deck thee all with bays,
  And love thee ever more.        40
My dear and only love, take heed,
  Lest thou thyself expose,
And let all longing lovers feed
  Upon such looks as those.
A marble wall then build about,        45
  Beset without a door;
But if thou let thy heart fly out,
  I ’ll never love thee more.
Let not their oaths, like volleys shot,
  Make any breach at all;        50
Nor smoothness of their language plot
  Which way to scale the wall;
Nor balls of wild-fire love consume
  The shrine which I adore;
For if such smoke about thee fume,        55
  I ’ll never love thee more.
I think thy virtues be too strong
  To suffer by surprise;
Those victualled by my love so long,
  The siege at length must rise,        60
And leave thee rulèd in that health
  And state thou wast before;
But if thou turn a commonwealth,
  I ’ll never love thee more.
Or if by fraud, or by consent,        65
  Thy heart to ruine come,
I ’ll sound no trumpet as I wont,
  Nor march by tuck of drum;
But hold my arms, like ensigns, up,
  Thy falsehood to deplore,        70
And bitterly will sigh and weep,
  And never love thee more.
I ’ll do with thee as Nero did
  When Rome was set on fire,
Not only all relief forbid,        75
  But to a hill retire,
And scorn to shed a tear to see
  Thy spirit grown so poor;
But smiling sing, until I die,
  I ’ll never love thee more.        80
Yet, for the love I bare thee once,
  Lest that thy name should die,
A monument of marble-stone
  The truth shall testifie;
That every pilgrim passing by        85
  May pity and deplore
My case, and read the reason why
  I can love thee no more.
The golden laws of love shall be
  Upon this pillar hung,—        90
A simple heart, a single eye,
  A true and constant tongue;
Let no man for more love pretend
  Than he has hearts in store;
True love begun shall never end;        95
  Love one and love no more.
Then shall thy heart be set by mine,
  But in far different case;
For mine was true, so was not thine,
  But lookt like Janus’ face.        100
For as the waves with every wind,
  So sail’st thou every shore,
And leav’st my constant heart behind,—
  How can I love thee more?
My heart shall with the sun be fixed        105
  For constancy most strange,
And thine shall with the moon be mixed,
  Delighting ay in change.
Thy beauty shined at first more bright,
  And woe is me therefore,        110
That ever I found thy love so light
  I could love thee no more!
The misty mountains, smoking lakes,
  The rocks’ resounding echo,
The whistling wind that murmur makes,        115
  Shall with me sing hey ho!
The tossing seas, the tumbling boats,
  Tears dropping from each shore,
Shall tune with me their turtle notes—
  I ’ll never love thee more.        120
As doth the turtle, chaste and true,
  Her fellow’s death regrete,
And daily mourns for his adieu,
  And ne’er renews her mate;
So, though thy faith was never fast,        125
  Which grieves me wondrous sore,
Yet I shall live in love so chaste,
  That I shall love no more.
And when all gallants ride about
  These monuments to view,        130
Whereon is written, in and out,
  Thou traitorous and untrue;
Then in a passion they shall pause,
  And thus say, sighing sore,
“Alas! he had too just a cause        135
  Never to love thee more.”
And when that tracing goddess Fame
  From east to west shall flee,
She shall record it, to thy shame,
  How thou hast lovèd me;        140
And how in odds our love was such
  As few have been before;
Thou loved too many, and I too much,
  So I can love no more.

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