Obsessed by Love

Dame and Knight

What less, than Fool, and greater Fool, than he,
Who knows no Heaven but his mistress' smiles,
And bows his reason to the tyranny
Of her caprice and ever changing wiles?
Than he, whose brain-sick fantasy can find
Subject for Love, in each insensate whim,
And in her very faults of heart and mind,
A grace, to none apparent but to him!
Who sees not, when she most affects the Dove,
She but derides the passion he reveals;
And that most false when most she vows her love,
'Tis but to seem what least she is and feels.
If true that, he who wills it may be free:
Who hath no Will, must have a lack of brains;
A straw-tied Fool! who for his stultity,
In Love, as in aught else, deserves his chains.

~ "Moral Emblems" from Jacob Cats and Robert Farlie, 1860. Not in copyright.
Painting by Edmund Leighton, public domain PD-US.

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