A Sonnet. Of Love by Philip Ayres

If Love it be not, what is this I feel?
If it be Love, what Love is, fain I’d know?
If good, why the effects severe and ill?
If bad, why do its torments please me so?

If willingly I burn, should I complain?
If ‘gainst my will, what helps it to lament?
Oh living Death! oh most delightful Pain!
How comes all this, if I do not consent?

If I consent, ’tis madness then to grieve;
Amidst these storms, in a weak Boat I’m tost
Upon a dangerous Sea, without relief,
No help from Reason, but in Error lost.

Which way in this distraction shall I turn?
That freeze in Summer, and in Winter burn.

From: Ayres, Philip, Lyric poems, made in imitation of the Italians of which, many are translations from other languages, 2003-05, Text Creation Partnership: Ann Arbor, Michigan and Oxford, p. 12.

Date: 1687

By: Philip Ayres (1638-1712)


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