The Scrutinie

By Richard Lovelace 1618–1657 Richard Lovelace

Why should you sweare I am forsworn,
   Since thine I vow’d to be?
Lady it is already Morn,
   And ’twas last night I swore to thee
That fond impossibility.


Have I not lov’d thee much and long,
   A tedious twelve houres space?
I must all other Beauties wrong,
   And rob thee of a new imbrace;
Could I still dote upon thy Face.


Not, but all joy in thy browne haire,
   By others may be found;
But I must search the blank and faire
   Like skilfull Minerallist’s that sound
For Treasure in un-plow’d-up ground.


Then, if when I have lov’d my round,
   Thou prov’st the pleasant she;
With spoyles of meaner Beauties crown’d,
   I laden will returne to thee,
Ev’d sated with Varietie.

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Poet Richard Lovelace 1618–1657


SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Subjects Love, Realistic & Complicated

 Richard  Lovelace


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 Love, Realistic & Complicated


SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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