To Lucasta, Going to the Wars

By Richard Lovelace 1618–1657 Richard Lovelace
Tell me not (Sweet) I am unkind,
         That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
         To war and arms I fly.

True, a new mistress now I chase,
         The first foe in the field;
And with a stronger faith embrace
         A sword, a horse, a shield.

Yet this inconstancy is such
         As you too shall adore;
I could not love thee (Dear) so much,
         Lov’d I not Honour more.

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Poet Richard Lovelace 1618–1657

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Subjects War & Conflict, Relationships, Love, Social Commentaries, Romantic Love, Infatuation & Crushes, Break-ups & Vexed Love

Poetic Terms Common Measure

 Richard  Lovelace

Biography

Like the other Cavalier poets of 17th-century England, Richard Lovelace lived a legendary life as a soldier, lover, and courtier. Persecuted for his unflagging support of King Charles I, he died in dire poverty — but not before writing two of the age’s most melodic and moving lyrics: “To Althea, from Prison” and “To Lucasta, Going to the Wars.”

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT War & Conflict, Relationships, Love, Social Commentaries, Romantic Love, Infatuation & Crushes, Break-ups & Vexed Love

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Poetic Terms Common Measure

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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