Song: If you refuse me once, and think again

By Sir John Suckling 1609–1642 Sir John Suckling
If you refuse me once, and think again,
            I will complain.
You are deceiv’d, love is no work of art,
            It must be got and born,
            Not made and worn,
By every one that hath a heart.

Or do you think they more than once can die,
            Whom you deny?
Who tell you of a thousand deaths a day,
            Like the old poets feign
            And tell the pain
They met, but in the common way?

Or do you think ’t too soon to yield,
            And quit the field?
Nor is that right, they yield that first entreat;
            Once one may crave for love,
            But more would prove
This heart too little, that too great.

Oh that I were all soul, that I might prove
      For you as fit a love
As you are for an angel; for I know,
None but pure spirits are fit loves for you.

You are all ethereal; there’s in you no dross,
      Nor any part that’s gross.
Your coarsest part is like a curious lawn,
The vestal relics for a covering drawn.

Your other parts, part of the purest fire
      That e’er Heav’n did inspire,
Makes every thought that is refin’d by it
A quintessence of goodness and of wit.

Thus have your raptures reach’d to that degree
      In love’s philosophy,
That you can figure to yourself a fire
Void of all heat, a love without desire.

Nor in divinity do you go less;
      You think, and you profess,
That souls may have a plenitude of joy,
Although their bodies meet not to employ.

But I must needs confess, I do not find
      The motions of my mind
So purified as yet, but at the best
My body claims in them an interest.

I hold that perfect joy makes all our parts
      As joyful as our hearts.
Our senses tell us, if we please not them,
Our love is but a dotage or a dream.

How shall we then agree? you may descend,
      But will not, to my end.
I fain would tune my fancy to your key,
But cannot reach to that obstructed way.

There rests but this, that whilst we sorrow here,
      Our bodies may draw near;
And, when no more their joys they can extend,
Then let our souls begin where they did end.

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Poet Sir John Suckling 1609–1642

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Subjects Nature, Relationships, Love, The Body, Desire, Realistic & Complicated

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

 Sir John  Suckling

Biography

A popular label for many poets in seventeenth-century Britain has been "Cavalier," and the person who usually comes first to mind is Sir John Suckling. The classification implies an allegiance to Charles I in his political and military battles against various Parliamentarian or religious groups during the later 1620s through his execution on 30 January 1649. Included thus are the poets Thomas Carew, Richard Lovelace, Suckling, . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Relationships, Love, The Body, Desire, Realistic & Complicated

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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