A Supplication

Abraham Cowley 1618 (London) – 1667 (London)

Awake, awake, my Lyre!
And tell thy silent master's humble tale
In sounds that may prevail;
Sounds that gentle thoughts inspire:
Though so exalted she
And I so lowly be
Tell her, such different notes make all thy harmony.

Hark, how the strings awake!
And, though the moving hand approach not near,
Themselves with awful fear
A kind of numerous trembling make.
Now all thy forces try;
Now all thy charms apply;
Revenge upon her ear the conquests of her eye.

Weak Lyre! thy virtue sure
Is useless here, since thou art only found
To cure, but not to wound,
And she to wound, but not to cure,
Too weak too wilt thou prove
My passion to remove;
Physic to other ills, thou'rt nourishment to love.

Sleep, sleep again, my Lyre!
For thou canst never tell my humble tale
In sounds that will prevail,
Nor gentle thoughts in her inspire;
All thy vain mirth lay by,
Bid thy strings silent lie,
Sleep, sleep again, my Lyre, and let thy master die.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Abraham Cowley

Abraham Cowley was an English poet born in the City of London late in 1618. He was one of the leading English poets of the 17th century, with 14 printings of his Works published between 1668 and 1721. more…

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    "A Supplication" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 30 Sep. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/2/a-supplication>.

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