I never yet could see that face
Which had no dart for me;
From fifteen years, to fifty's space,
They all victorious be.
Love, thou'rt a devil, if I may call thee one,
For sure in me thy name is Legion.
Colour, or shape, good limbs, or face,
Goodness, or wit, in all I find;
In motion or in speech a grace;
If all fail, yet 't is woman-kind;
And I'm so weak, the pistol need not be
Double or treble charg'd to murder me.
If tall, the name of proper slays;
If fair, she's pleasant as the light;
If low, her prettiness does please;
If black, what lover loves not night?
If yellow-hair'd, I love, lest it should be
Th' excuse to others for not loving me.
The fat, like plenty, fills my heart;
The lean, with love makes me too so:
If straight, her body 's Cupid's dart
To me ; if cropked, 't is his bow :
Nay, age itself does me to rage incline,
And strength to women gives, as well as wine.
Just half as large as Charity
My richly-landed Love 's become ;
And, judg'd aright, is Constancy,
Though it take up a larger room :
Him, who loves always one, why should they call
More constant than the man loves always all?
Thus with unwearied wings I flee
Through all love's gardens and his fields;
And, like the wise, industrious bee
No weed but honey to me yields!
Honey still spent this diligence still supplies,
Though I return not home with laden thighs.
My soul at first indeed did prove
Of pretty strength against a dart,
Till I this habit got of love;
But my consum'd and wasted heart,
Once burnt to tinder with a strong desire,
Since that, by every spark is set on fire.
Translation(s): GER GER
List of language codes
Confirmed with Abraham Cowley, The Works of Mr. A. Cowley: In Prose and Verse, London: John Sharpe, Volume 2, 1809, pages 88-90.
Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
[ None yet in the database ]
Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:
- Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Josef Franz von Ratschky (1757 - 1810) , "Der Weiberfreund", subtitle: "Nach dem Englischen des Cowley", written 1794, first published 1795 [an adaptation] CAT DUT FRE ITA by Franz Peter Schubert.
Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- GER German (Deutsch) (Josef Franz von Ratschky) , "Der Weiberfreund", subtitle: "Nach dem Englischen des Cowley. Wien im April 1794", written 1794 [an adaptation]
Text added to the website: 2003-11-05T00:00:00.
Last modified: 2017-03-17T21:51:19
Line count: 42
Word count: 304
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