Il sabio mude conseio: Il loco persevera.
by Henry King
We lov'd as friends now twenty years and more:
Is't time or reason think you to give o're?
When though two prentiships set Jacob free,
I have not held my Rachel dear at three.
Yet will I not your levitie accuse;
Continuance sometimes is the worse abuse.
In judgment I might rather hold it strange,
If like the fleeting world, you did not change:
Be it your wisdom therefore to retract,
When perseverance oft is follies act.
In pity I can think, that what you do
Hath Justice in't, and some Religion too;
For of all vertues Morall or Divine,
We know but Love none must in Heaven shine:
Well did you the presumption then foresee
Of counterfeiting immortalitie:
Since had you kept our loves too long alive,
We might invade Heavens prerogative;
Or in our progress, like the Jews, comprise
The Legend of an earthly Paradise.
Live happy and more prosperous in the next,
You have discharg'd your old friend by the Text.
Farewel fair Shadow of a female faith,
And let this be our friendships Epitaph:
Affection shares the frailty of our fate,
When (like our selves) 'tis old and out of date:
'Tis just all humane Loves their period have,
When friends are frail and dropping to the grave: