Sonnet II, "If in true love you war"

it is addressed thusly:
Steel yourselves!

it reads:

I have known some whose speech and thought were clear
On matters valorous, of war and wound
To think of peace through battle found them swooned
To fight another, could the conscience sear?

And even others who knew 'twas not so
Desired peace and thus drew not the sword
A cold detente we soon had found abhorred
The end would come how soon, no man could know.

The seeming always calls a fruitless act
The battle-cry, the sounding of the horns
As all is lost, with wreck and waste before!
But what surprise awaits a knightly tact
If not the honest fisticuffs she scorns
Then hope in peace if in true love you war.


  1. If I spare not the spear
    But strike with sure aim
    Dismember and maim
    Each part I hold dear,

    Would stand there a chance
    This double-edged sword
    That could slay my Lord
    Be part of the dance?

    If so then let be
    My fingers for war
    My hands for battle
    Dare not from these flee
    The sound of the roar
    Nor thundering and rattle.

  2. O woman, why despise ye me?
    Have roughened parts of me which
    Once were thought by you as otherwise
    Become the only jagged stitch
    So sore against this black disguise?

    Not so, O man, be ye relieved
    When thickly knitted brows sewn tight
    With chest collapsed from sighing heaved
    I would but love thee little this night
    If disengaged, refuse to fight!


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