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Poetry (horse out of barn version)

November 11, 2010

Why should a foolish marriage vow

Why should a foolish marriage vow,
Which long ago was made,
Oblige us to each other now
When passion is decay’d?
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 farther 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 our selves pain,
When neither can hinder the other.


–John Dryden

2 Comments leave one →
  1. jen permalink
    November 11, 2010 5:50 pm

    if I ever needed confirmation of how middlebrow my reading habits really are, I saw the first lines of this and immediately remembered where in Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey & Maturin novels it is quoted, but I could not have identified it as Dryden for a million bucks. Anyway, good poem, hooray for 17th-century common sense.

    • irretrievablybroken permalink*
      November 11, 2010 10:03 pm

      Dryden’s not my cup of tea really either–I’m a Donne girl, through and through. I was recently introduced to the O’Brian novels and adore them. Actually Julia (Here be Hippogriffs) has been recommending them for years…

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