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A Farewell to False Love 
a poem by
Sir Walter Raleigh

A Farewell to False Love

Farewell false love, the oracle of lies, 
A mortal foe and enemy to rest, 
An envious boy, from whom all cares arise, 
A bastard vile, a beast with rage possessed, 
A way of error, a temple full of treason, 
In all effects contrary unto reason. 

A poisoned serpent covered all with flowers, 
Mother of sighs, and murderer of repose, 
A sea of sorrows whence are drawn such showers 
As moisture lend to every grief that grows; 
A school of guile, a net of deep deceit, 
A gilded hook that holds a poisoned bait. 

A fortress foiled, which reason did defend, 
A siren song, a fever of the mind, 
A maze wherein affection finds no end, 
A raging cloud that runs before the wind, 
A substance like the shadow of the sun, 
A goal of grief for which the wisest run. 

A quenchless fire, a nurse of trembling fear, 
A path that leads to peril and mishap, 
A true retreat of sorrow and despair, 
An idle boy that sleeps in pleasure's lap, 
A deep mistrust of that which certain seems, 
A hope of that which reason doubtful deems. 

Sith* then thy trains my younger years betrayed,[since] 
And for my faith ingratitude I find; 
And sith repentance hath my wrongs bewrayed*,[revealed] 
Whose course was ever contrary to kind*:[nature] 
False love, desire, and beauty frail, adieu. 
Dead is the root whence all these fancies grew. 

Sir Walter Raleigh
 


A Farewell to False Love
 - a poem by Sir Walter Raleigh

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