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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Elizabethan Verse. 1907.

Dispraise of Love and Lover’s Follies

Francis Davison (1575?–1619?)

IF love be life, I long to die,

Live they that list for me;

And he that gains the most thereby,

A fool at least shall be.

But he that feels the sorest fits,

’Scapes with no less than loss of wits:

Unhappy life they gain,

Which love do entertain.

In day by feignèd looks they live,

By lying dreams in night,

Each frown a deadly wound doth give,

Each smile a false delight.

If ’t hap their lady pleasant seem,

It is for others’ love they deem;

If void she seem of joy,

Disdain doth make her coy.

Such is the peace that lovers find,

Such is the life they lead,

Blown here and there with every wind,

Like flowers in the mead;

Now war, now peace, now war again,

Desire, despair, delight, disdain:

Though dead, in midst of life,

In peace, and yet at strife.