Verse > Sir Walter Raleigh > Poems
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Sir Walter Raleigh (1554?–1618).  Poems.  1892.
 
XXV.
No Pleasure without Pain; before 1576
 
SWEET were the joys that both might like and last;
  Strange were the state exempt from all distress;
Happy the life that no mishap should taste;
  Blessed the chance might never change success.
Were such a life to lead or state to prove,        5
Who would not wish that such a life were love?
 
But oh! the soury sauce of sweet unsure,
  When pleasures flit, and fly with waste of wind.
The trustless trains that hoping hearts allure,
  When sweet delights do but allure the mind;        10
When care consumes and wastes the wretched wight,
While fancy feeds and draws of her delight.
 
What life were love, if love were free from pain?
  But oh that pain with pleasure matched should meet!
Why did the course of nature so ordain        15
  That sugared sour must sauce the bitter sweet?
Which sour from sweet might any means remove,
What hap, what heaven, what life, were like to love!
 
 
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