Suckling's The Invocation | Harper's Magazine

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Suckling’s The Invocation

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Ye juster Powers of Love and Fate,
Give me the reason why
A lover crost
And all hopes lost
May not have leave to die.

It is but just ; and Love needs must
Confess it is his part,
When she doth spy
One wounded lie,
To pierce the other’s heart.

But yet if he so cruel be
To have one breast to hate,
If I must live
And thus survive,
How far more cruel ‘s Fate ?

In this same state I find too late
I am ; and here ‘s the grief :
Cupid can cure,
Death heal, I’m sure,
Yet neither sends relief.

To live or die, beg only I :
Just Powers, some end me give ;
And traitor-like
Thus force me not
Without a heart to live.

Sir John Suckling, The Invocation (ca. 1646) in The Works of Sir John Suckling, p. 45 (A.H. Thompson ed. 1910)

Listen to John Dowland’s “Weep You No More Sad Fountains” from the Third Booke of Songs (1603) in a performance by Paul Agnew:

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