Against Constancy

Earl of Rochester
English
1647 – 1680

 

Tell me no more of constancy,
The frivolous pretense
Of cold age, narrow jealousy,
Disease, and want of sense.

Let duller fools, on whom kind chance
Some easy heart has thrown,
Despairing higher to advance,
Be kind to one alone.

Old men and weak, whose idle flame
Their own defects discovers,
Since changing can but spread their shame,
Ought to be constant lovers.

But we, whose hearts do justly swell
With no vainglorious pride,
Who know how we in love excel,
Long to be often tried.

Then bring my bath, and strew my bed,
As each kind night returns;
I’ll change a mistress till I’m dead—
And fate change me to worms.

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