No Platonic Love

By William Cartwright William Cartwright
Tell me no more of minds embracing minds,
    And hearts exchang’d for hearts;
That spirits spirits meet, as winds do winds,
    And mix their subt’lest parts;
That two unbodied essences may kiss,
And then like Angels, twist and feel one Bliss.

I was that silly thing that once was wrought
    To practise this thin love;
I climb’d from sex to soul, from soul to thought;
    But thinking there to move,
Headlong I rolled from thought to soul, and then
From soul I lighted at the sex again.

As some strict down-looked men pretend to fast,
    Who yet in closets eat;
So lovers who profess they spirits taste,
    Feed yet on grosser meat;
I know they boast they souls to souls convey,
Howe’r they meet, the body is the way.

Come I will undeceive thee, they that tread
    Those vain aerial ways,
Are like young heirs and alchemists misled
    To waste their wealth and days,
For searching thus to be for ever rich,
They only find a med’cine for the itch.

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet William Cartwright

Subjects Love, Desire, Realistic & Complicated

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Desire, Realistic & Complicated

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.