“Constancy” by Sidney Godolphin

Sidney Godolphin – Poet (1610-1643)

Constancy

“Love unreturned, howe’er the flame
Seem great and pure, may still admit
Degrees of more, and a new name
And strength acceptance gives to it.

Till then, by honour there’s no tie
Laid on it, that it ne’er decay;
The mind’s last act by constancy
Ought to be sealed, and not the way.

Did aught but love’s perfection bind,
Who should assign what degree
Of love faith ought to fix the mind,
And in what limits we are free?

So hardly in a single heart
Is any love conceived,
That fancy still supplies one part,
Supposing it received.

When undeceived such love retires
‘Tis but a model lost,
A draft of what might be expires,
Built but at fancy’s cost;

Yet if the ruin one tear move
From pity not love sent,
Though not a palace, it will prove
The most wished monument.”

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