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About this poet

Abraham Cowley is the author of The Mistress (1647).

The Heart Breaking

Abraham Cowley
It gave a piteous groan, and so it broke;
      In vain it something would have spoke:
      The love within too strong for 't was,
Like poison put into a Venice-glass.

I thought that this some remedy might prove;
      But oh, the mighty serpent Love,
      Cut by this chance in pieces small,
In all still liv'd, and still it stung in all.

And now, alas! each little broken part
      Feels the whole pain of all my heart;
      And every smallest corner still
Lives with that torment which the whole did kill.

Even so rude armies, when the field they quit,
      And into several quarters get;
      Each troop does spoil and ruin more
Than all join'd in one body did before.

How many Loves reign in my bosom now!
      How many loves, yet all of you!
      Thus have I chang'd with evil fate
My Monarch-love into a Tyrant-state.

This poem is in the public domain.

This poem is in the public domain.

Abraham Cowley

Abraham Cowley is the author of The Mistress (1647).

by this poet

poem
I've often wish'd to love; what shall I do?
      Me still the cruel boy does spare;
      And I a double task must bear,
First to woo him, and then a mistress too.
      Come at last and strike, for shame,
If thou art any thing besides a name;
      I'll think thee else no God to be,
But poets rather Gods, who
poem
Whilst what I write I do not see,
      I dare thus, ev'n to you, write poetry.
Ah, foolish Muse! which dost so high aspire,
      And know'st her judgment well,
      How much it does thy power excel,
Yet dar'st be read by, thy just doom, the fire.

      Alas! thou think'st thyself secure,
      Because thy
poem
Some think your commendation you deserve,
'Cause you of old Augustus did preserve.
Why did you still prolong that fatal breath, 
That banish'd Ovid, and was Tully's death? 
But I suppose that neither of 'em you, 
Nor Orator nor Poet ever knew; 
Wherefore I wonder not, you shou'd comply, 
And