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Poem by William Cartwright


To Chloe, Who Wished Herself Young Enough for Me


Chloe, why wish you that your years
Would backwards run till they meet mine,
That perfect likeness, which endears
Things unto things, might us combine?
Our ages so in date agree
That twins do differ more than we.

There are two births: the one when light
First strikes the new awakened sense;
The other when two souls unite,
And we must count our life from thence,
When you loved me and I loved you,
Then both of us were born anew.

Love then to us did new souls give,
And in those souls did plant new powers;
Since when another life we live,
The breath we breathe is his, not ours;
Love makes those young whom age doth chill,
And whom he finds young, keeps young still.

Love, like that angel that shall call
Our bodies from the silent grave,
Unto one age doth raise us all,
None too much, none too little have;
Nay, that the difference may be none,
He makes two not alike, but one.

And now since you and I are such,
Tell me what's yours and what is mine?
Our eyes, our ears, our taste, smell, touch,
Do, like our souls, in one combine;
So by this, I as well may be
Too old for you, as you for me.



William Cartwright


William Cartwright's other poems:
  1. Love But One
  2. A Dream Broke
  3. On One Weepeing
  4. Confession
  5. A Song of Dalliance


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