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PotW #74
This Week's Poem

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No Platonic Love
- William Cartwright (1611-1643)

    Tell me no more of minds embracing minds,
        And hearts exchang'd for hearts;
    That spirits spirits meet, as winds do winds,
        And mix their subt'lest parts;
    That two unbodied essences may kiss,
    And then like Angels, twist and feel one Bliss.

    I was that silly thing that once was wrought
        To practise this thin love;
    I climb'd from sex to soul, from soul to thought;
        But thinking there to move,
    Headlong I rolled from thought to soul, and then
    From soul I lighted at the sex again.

    As some strict down-looked men pretend to fast,
        Who yet in closets eat;
    So lovers who profess they spririts taste,
        Feed yet on grosser meat;
    I know they boast they souls to souls convey,
    Howe'r they meet, the body is the way.

    Come, I will undeceive thee, they that tread
        Those vain aerial ways
    Are like young heirs and alchemists misled
        To waste their wealth and days,
    For searching thus to be for ever rich,
    They only find a med'cine for the itch.


The above poem can be found for example in:
  • Williams, Oscar, ed. Immortal Poems of the English Language New York: Pocket Books, 1952.