“Loving and Beloved”

There never yet was honest man
That ever drove the trade of love;
It is impossible, nor can
Integrity our ends promove:
For Kings and Lovers are alike in this
That their chief art in reigne dissembling is.

Here we are lov’d, and there we love,
Good nature now and passion strive
Which of the two should be above,
And laws unto the other give.
So we false fire with art sometimes discover,
And the true fire with the same art do cover.

What Rack can Fancy find so high?
Here we must Court, and here ingage,
Though in the other place we die.
Oh! ‘tis torture all, and cozenage;
And which the harder is I cannot tell,
To hide true love, or make false love look well.

Since it is thus, God of desire,
Give me my honesty again,
And take thy brands back, and thy fire;
I’me weary of the State I’me in:
Since (if the very best should now befall)
Loves Triumph, must be Honours Funeral.

– Sir John Suckling, “Loving and Beloved”

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