Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Restoration Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Restoration Verse.  1910.
 
Les Amours
By Charles Cotton (1630–1687)
 
SHE, that I pursue, still flies me;
  Her, that follows me, I fly;
She, that I still court, denies me:
  Her, that courts me, I deny.
Thus in one web we’re subtly wove,        5
And yet we mutiny in love.
 
She, that can save me, must not do it;
  She, that cannot, fain would do;
Her love is bound, yet I still woo it;
  Hers by love is bound in woe:        10
‘Yet, how can I of love complain,
Since I have love for love again?
 
This is thy work, imperious Child,
  Thine’s this labyrinth of love,
That thus hast our desires beguiled,        15
  Nor see’st how thine arrows rove.
Then prithee, to compose this stir,
Make her love me, or me love her.
 
But, if irrevocable are
  Those keen shafts, that wound us so;        20
Let me prevail with thee thus far,
  That thou once more take thy bow;
Wound her hard heart, and by my troth
I’ll be content to take them both.
 
 
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