The Abraham Cowley Text and Image Archive

from The Mistress, Poems (1656; editor's copy)

TIr'ed with the rough denials of my Prayer,
   From that hard she whom I obey,
I come, and find a Nymph, much gentler here,
   That gives consent to all I say.
   Ah gentle Nymph who lik'st so well,
In hollow, solitary Caves to dwell,
   Her Heart being such, into it go,
And do but once from thence answer me so.
Complaisant Nymph, who do'est thus kindly share
   In griefs, whose cause thou do'est not know!  10
Hadst thou but Eyes, as well as Tongue and Ear,
   How much compassion wouldst thou show!
   Thy flame, whilst living, or a flower,
Was of less beauty, and less rav'ishing power;
   Alas, I might as easilie,
Paint thee to her, as describe Her to Thee.
By repercussion Beams engender Fire,
   Shapes by reflexion shapes beget;
The voyce it self, when stopt, does back retire,
   And a new voice is made by it.  20
   Thus things by opposition
The gainers grow; my barren Love alone,
   Does from her stony breast rebound,
Producing neither Image, Fire, nor Sound.

This text normalized in the same way as Cowley's "Hymn to Light."
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