Home  »  library  »  Song  »  Alexander Brome (1620–1666)

C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Alexander Brome (1620–1666)

Love’s Without Reason

’TIS not my lady’s face that makes me love her,—

Though beauty there doth rest,

Enough to inflame the breast

Of one that never did discover

The glories of a face before;

But I that have seen thousands more,

See naught in hers but what in others are;—

Only because I think she’s fair, she’s fair.

’Tis not her virtues, nor those vast perfections

That crowd together in her,

Engage my soul to win her,

For those are only brief collections

Of what’s in man in folio writ;

Which by their imitation wit,

Women, like apes and children, strive to do:

But we that have the substance slight the show.

’Tis not her birth, her friends, nor yet her treasure,

My freeborn soul can hold;

For chains are chains, though gold:

Nor do I court her for my pleasure,

Nor for that old morality

Do I love her, ’cause she loves me:

For that’s no love, but gratitude; and all

Loves that from fortunes rise with fortunes fall.

If friends or birth created love within me,

Then princes I’d adore,

And only scorn the poor;

If virtue or good parts could win me,

I’d turn platonic and ne’er vex

My soul with difference of sex;

And he that loves his lady ’cause she’s fair

Delights his eye, so loves himself, not her.

Reason and wisdom are to love high treason;

Nor can he truly love,

Whose flame’s not far above

And far beyond his wit or reason.

Then ask no reason for my fires,

For infinite are my desires:

Something there is moves me to love, and I

Do know I love, but know not how nor why.