Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
 
A Doubt of Martyrdom
By Sir John Suckling (1609–1642)
 
O FOR some honest lover’s ghost,
  Some kind unbodied post
    Sent from shades below!
    I strangely long to know
Whether the noble chaplets wear        5
Those that their mistress’ scorn did bear
    Or those that were used kindly.
 
For whatsoe’er they tell us here
  To make those sufferings dear,
    ’Twill there, I fear, be found        10
    That to the being crown’d
T’ have loved alone will not suffice,
Unless we also have been wise
    And have our loves enjoy’d.
 
What posture can we think him in        15
  That, here unloved, again
    Departs, and ’s thither gone
    Where each sits by his own?
Or how can that Elysium be
Where I my mistress still must see        20
    Circled in other’s arms?
 
For there the judges all are just,
  And Sophonisba must
    Be his whom she held dear,
    Not his who loved her here.        25
The sweet Philoclea, since she died,
Lies by her Piracles his side,
    Not by Amphialus.
 
Some bays, perchance, or myrtle bough
  For difference crowns the brow        30
    Of those kind souls that were
    The noble martyrs here:
And if that be the only odds
(As who can tell?), ye kinder gods,
    Give me the woman here!        35
 
 
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