The Concealment

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The Concealment
by Abraham Cowley

     No; to what purpose should I speak?
     No, wretched heart! swell till you break.
     She cannot love me if she would;
And, to say truth, ‘twere pity that she should,
     No; to the grave thy sorrows bear;
     As silent as they will be there:
Since that loved hand this mortal wound does give,
     So handsomely the thing contrive,
     That she may guiltless of it live;
     So perish, that her killing thee
May a chance-medley,and no murder, be.

     'Tis nobler much for me, that I
     By her beauty, not her anger, die:
     This will look justly, and become
An execution; that, a martyrdom.
     The censuring world will ne’er refrain
     From judging men by thunder slain.
She must be angry, sure, if I should be
     So bold to ask her to make me,
     By being her's, happier than she!
     I will not; ‘tis a milder fate
To fall by her not loving, than her hate.

     And yet this death of mine, I fear,
     Will ominous to her appear;
     When, sound in every other part,
Her sacrifice is found without an heart;
     For the last tempest of my death
     Shall sigh out that too with my breath.
Then shall the world my noble ruin see,
     Some pity and some envy me;
     Then she herself, the mighty she,
     Shall grace my funerals with this truth;
“‘Twas only Love destroy’d the gentle youth!”