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Poem by Abraham Cowley
I came, I saw, and was undone; Lightning did through my bones and marrow run; A pointed pain pierc'd deep my heart; A swift cold trembling seiz'd on every part; My head turn'd round, nor could it bear The poison that was enter'd there. So a destroying angel's breath Blows-in the plague, and with it hasty death; Such was the pain, did so begin, To the poor wretch, when Legion enter'd in. 'Forgive me, God!' I cry'd; for I Flatter'd myself I was to die. But quickly to my cost I found, 'T was cruel Love, not Death, had made the wound; Death a more generous rage does use; Quarter to all he conquers does refuse: Whilst Love with barbarous mercy saves The vanquish'd lives, to make them slaves. I am thy slave then; let me know, Hard master! the great task I have to do: Who pride and scorn do undergo. In tempests and rough seas thy galleys row; They pant, and groan, and sigh; but find Their sighs increase the angry wind. Like an Egyptian tyrant, some Thou weariest out in building but a tomb; Others, with sad and tedious art, Labour i' th' quarries of a stony heart: Of all the works thou dost assign To all the several slaves of thine, Employ me, mighty Love! to dig the mine.
Abraham Cowley's other poems:
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