Against Constancy

A poem by John Wilmot

Tell me no more of constancy,
The frivolous pretense
Of old age, narrow jealousy,
Disease, and want of sense.

Let duller fools on whom kind chance
Some easy heart has thrown,
Despairing higher to advance,
Be kind to one alone.

Old men and weak, whose idle flame,
Their own defects discovers,
Since changing can but spread their shame,
Ought to be constant lovers,

But we, whose hearts do justly swell
With no vainglorious pride,
Who know how we in love excel,
Long to be often tried.

Then bring my bath and strew my bed,
As each kind night returns:
I'll change a mistress till I'm dead,
And fate change me for worms.

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