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by Abraham Cowley

Gently, ah gently, Madam, touch
     The wound, which you your self have made;
That pain must needs be very much,
     Which makes me of your hand afraid.
Cordials of pity give me now,
For I too weak for purgings grow.

Do but a while with patience stay;
     (For counsel yet will do no good,)
'Till time, and rest, and heaven, allay
     The violent burnings of my blood;
For what effect from this can flow,
To chide men drunk, for being so?

Perhaps the physick's good you give,
     But ne're to me can useful prove;
Medicines may cure, but not revive;
     And I am not sick, but dead in love.
In Love's hell, not his world, am I;
At once I live, am dead, and die.

What new found rhetorick is thine?
     Ev'n thy dissuasions me persuade,
And thy great power does clearest shine,
     When thy commands are disobey'd.
In vain thou bidst me to forbear;
Obedience were rebellion here.

Thy tongue comes in, as if it meant
     Against thine Eyes t'assist my heart;
But different far was his intent,
     For strait the traitor took their part.
And by this new foe I'm bereft
Of all that little which was left.

The act I must confess was wise,
     As a dishonest act could be:
Well knew the tongue, alas! your eyes
     Would be too strong for that, and me;
And part o'th' triumph chose to get,
Rather than be a part of it.

This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.