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By Richard Lovelace

Tell me not (Sweet) I am unkind,

         That from the nunnery

Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind

         To war and arms I fly.


True, a new mistress now I chase,

         The first foe in the field;

And with a stronger faith embrace

         A sword, a horse, a shield.


Yet this inconstancy is such

         As you too shall adore;

I could not love thee (Dear) so much,

         Lov’d I not Honour more.


Poet Bio

Like the other Cavalier poets of 17th-century England, Richard Lovelace lived a legendary life as a soldier, lover, and courtier. Persecuted for his unflagging support of King Charles I, he died in dire poverty — but not before writing two of the age’s most melodic and moving lyrics: “To Althea, from Prison” and “To Lucasta, Going to the Wars.”

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