Love’s Growth

I scarce believe my love to be so pure
   As I had thought it was,
   Because it doth endure
Vicissitude, and season, as the grasse;
Methinks I lied all winter, when I swore,
My love was infinite, if spring make’it more.

But if this medicine, love, which cures all sorrow
With more, not onely bee no quintessence,
But mixt of all stuffes, paining soule, or sense,
And of the Sunne his working vigour borrow,
Love’s not so pure, and abstract, as they use
To say, which have no Mistresse but their Muse,
But as all else, being elemented too,
Love sometimes would contemplate, sometimes do

And yet no greater, but more eminent,
   Love by the spring is grown;
   As, in the firmament,
Starres by the Sunne are not inlarg’d, but showne,
Gentle love deeds, as blossomes on a bough,
From love’s awakened root do bud out now.

If, as in water stir’d more circles bee
Produc’d by one, love such additions take,
Those like so many spheares, but one heaven make,
For, they are all concentrique unto thee,
And though each spring doe adde to love new heate,
As princes do in times of action get
New taxes, and remit them not in peace,
No winter shall abate the spring’s encrease.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on January 27, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets.