Expostulation with Love in Despair

Love, with what strange tyrannic laws must they
comply, which are subjected to thy sway!
How far all justice thy commands decline,
which though they hope forbid, yet love enjoin!
Must all are to thy hell condemn’d sustain
a double torture of despair and pain?
Is ‘t not enough vainly to hope and woo,
that thou shouldst thus deny that vain hope too?
It were some joy, Ixion-like, to fold
the empty air, or feed on hopes as cold;
but if thou to my passion this deny,
thou mayst be starv’d to death as well as I;
for how can thy pale sickly flame burn clear
when death and cold despair inhabit near?
Rule in my breast alone, or thence retire;
dissolve this frost, or let that quench thy fire.
Or let me not desire, or else possess!
Neither, or both, are equal happiness.


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