Song: “Why should a foolish marriage vow”

By John Dryden 1631–1700 John Dryden

Why should a foolish marriage vow,
   Which long ago was made,
Oblige us to each other now,
   When passion is decayed?
We loved, and we loved, as long as we could,
   Till our love was loved out in us both;
But our marriage is dead, when the pleasure is fled:
’Twas pleasure first made it an oath.


If I have pleasures for a friend,
   And further love in store,
What wrong has he, whose joys did end,
   And who could give no more?
’Tis a madness that he should be jealous of me,
Or that I should bar him of another:
For all we can gain, is to give ourselves pain,
   When neither can hinder the other.

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Poet John Dryden 1631–1700


Subjects Love, Break-ups & Vexed Love, Realistic & Complicated

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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