Ho, ye lovers, list to me;
Warning words have I for thee:
Give ye heed, hefore ye wed,
To this thing Sir Chaucer said:
“Love wol not be constrained by maistrie,
When maistrie cometh, the god of love anon
Beteth his winges, and farewel, he is gon.
Other poets knew as well,
And the same sad story tell,
Hark ye, heed ye, while ye may,
What the worldly Pope doth say:
“Love, free as air, at sight of human ties
Spreads his light wings and in a moment flies.
This, Sir Hudibras, brave knight,
Faithful lover, constant wight,
From his lady’s lips did hear;
Mark ye, eke, the warning clear:
“Love is too generous t’abide
To be against its nature ty’d,
For where ’tis of itself inclin’d,
It breaks loose when it is confin’d.
Ho, ye lovers, shall I tell
How through life with Love to dwell,
Spite of all the poets say?
Harken to the easy way:—
Strive to bind him not, but see
That the little god binds thee.
Ellis Parker Butler
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