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Representative Poetry Online, edition 6.0, is a web anthology of 4,800 poems in English and French by over 700 poets spanning 1400 years.  more about RPO


A heartwarming gift for you on this cold Valentine’s Day: “Phyllis Loves Kelly,” 60 years of collected love poems from poet Phyllis Gotlieb to her husband, Kelly...



A Celebration of Charis: I. His Excuse for Loving

2Less your laughter, that I love.
3Though I now write fifty years,
4I have had, and have, my peers;
5Poets, though divine, are men,
6Some have lov'd as old again.
7And it is not always face,
8Clothes, or fortune, gives the grace;
10But the language and the truth,
11With the ardour and the passion,
12Gives the lover weight and fashion.
13If you then will read the story,
14First prepare you to be sorry
15That you never knew till now
16Either whom to love or how;
17But be glad, as soon with me,
18When you know that this is she
19Of whose beauty it was sung;
20She shall make the old man young,
21Keep the middle age at stay,
22And let nothing high decay,
23Till she be the reason why
24All the world for love may die.


1] A poem in ten lyric pieces, first printed in Works, 1640. Most of the poem was probably written before 1616, when The Devil is an Ass, containing the last two stanzas of "Her Triumph," was acted at the Blackfriars. The first part, "His excuse for loving," was composed in 1623, judging from the third line. Back to Line
9] feature: make, shape. Back to Line
 What thou lovest well remains,
                  the rest is dross
What thou lov'st well shall not be reft from thee
What thou lov'st well is thy true heritage
Whose world, or mine or theirs
                or is it of none?
First came the seen, then thus the palpable
    Elysium, though it were in the halls of hell,
What thou lovest well is thy true heritage
What thou lov'st well shall not be reft from thee
Ezra Pound Pisan Cantos, LXXXI