Archive for September 16th, 2012

Sunday, 16 September 2012

To An Inconstant Mistress by Robert Ayton

I loved thee once, I’ll love no more,
Thine be the grief as is the blame;
Thou art not what thou wast before,
What reason I should be the same!
He that can love unloved again,
Hath better store of love than brain:
God send me love my debts to pay,
While unthrifts fool their love away.

Nothing could have my love o’erthrown,
If thou hadst still continued mine:
Yea, if thou hadst remain’d thy own,
I might perchance have yet been thine.
But thou thy freedom did recall,
That if thou might elsewhere enthral;
And then how could I but disdain
A captive’s captive to remain?

When new desires had conquered thee,
And changed the object of thy will,
It had been lethargy in me,
Not constancy to love thee still.
Yea, it had been a sin to go
And prostitute affection so
Since we are taught no prayers to say
To such as must to others pray.

Yet do thou glory in thy choice,
Thy choice of his good fortune boast;
I’ll neither grieve nor yet rejoice,
To see him gain what I have lost:
The height of my disdain shall be,
To laugh at him, to blush for thee;
To love thee still, but go no more,
A begging to a beggar’s door.

From: http://www.electricscotland.com/history/other/ayton_robert.htm

Date: ?

By: Robert Ayton (1570-1638)

Alternative Title: On Woman’s Inconstancy