The Self Banished

By Edmund Waller 1606–1687 Edmund Waller
It is not that I love you less
Than when before your feet I lay,
But to prevent the sad increase
Of hopeless love, I keep away.

In vain (alas!) for everything
Which I have known belong to you,
Your form does to my fancy bring,
And makes my old wounds bleed anew.

Who in the spring from the new sun
Already has a fever got,
Too late begins those shafts to shun,
Which Phœbus through his veins has shot.

Too late he would the pain assuage,
And to thick shadows does retire;
About with him he bears the rage,
And in his tainted blood the fire.

But vow’d I have, and never must
Your banish’d servant trouble you;
For if I break, you may distrust
The vow I made to love you, too.

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Poet Edmund Waller 1606–1687

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Subjects Time & Brevity, Relationships, Living, Love, Separation & Divorce, Infatuation & Crushes, Break-ups & Vexed Love, Realistic & Complicated

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

 Edmund  Waller

Biography

Elected to Parliament at age 16, Edmund Waller quickly gained a reputation as a masterful orator. He was also a celebrated lyric poet long before the publication of his Poems in 1645. Despite his eloquent efforts to placate both Oliver Cromwell and Charles II, Waller was forced into exile for nearly a decade. His highly refined work, particularly his heroic couplets, were much admired by Alexander Pope and John Dryden.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Time & Brevity, Relationships, Living, Love, Separation & Divorce, Infatuation & Crushes, Break-ups & Vexed Love, 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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