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

A Doubt of Martyrdom

Sir John Suckling (1609–1642)

O FOR some honest lover’s ghost,

Some kind unbodied post

Sent from shades below!

I strangely long to know

Whether the noble chaplets wear

Those that their mistress’ scorn did bear

Or those that were used kindly.

For whatsoe’er they tell us here

To make those sufferings dear,

’Twill there, I fear, be found

That to the being crown’d

T’ have loved alone will not suffice,

Unless we also have been wise

And have our loves enjoy’d.

What posture can we think him in

That, here unloved, again

Departs, and ’s thither gone

Where each sits by his own?

Or how can that Elysium be

Where I my mistress still must see

Circled in other’s arms?

For there the judges all are just,

And Sophonisba must

Be his whom she held dear,

Not his who loved her here.

The sweet Philoclea, since she died,

Lies by her Piracles his side,

Not by Amphialus.

Some bays, perchance, or myrtle bough

For difference crowns the brow

Of those kind souls that were

The noble martyrs here:

And if that be the only odds

(As who can tell?), ye kinder gods,

Give me the woman here!