Away with these self-loving lads

by John Dowland

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Away with these self-loving lads
English source: Sir Fulke Greville

Away with these self-loving lads,
Whom Cupid’s arrow never glads!
Away, poor souls, that sigh and weep
In love of them that lie and sleep!
For Cupid is a meadow god
And forceth none to kiss the rod.

God Cupid’s shaft, like destiny,
Doth either good or ill decree.
Desert is born out of his bow,
Reward upon his foot doth go.
What fools are they that have not known
That Love likes no laws but his own!

My songs they be of Cynthia’s praise;
I wear her rings on holidays,
On every tree I write her name,
And every day I read the same.
Where Honour Cupid’s rival is
There miracles are seen of his.

If Cynthia crave her ring of me,
I blot her name out of the tree.
If doubt do darken things held dear,
Then well fare nothing once a year!
For many run, but one must win;
Fools, only, hedge the cuckoo in.

The worth that worthiness should move
Is love, which is the bow of Love.
And love as well the foster can
As can the mighty nobleman.
Sweet saint, ’tis true you worthy be,
Yet without love naught worth to me.


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