‘Off to the English Civil War’ – Richard Lovelace
A bitter-sweet poem for the start of Anzac Weekend, of a husband going off to war …
‘Off to the English Civil War’
Tell me not, sweet, I am unkind
That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
To warlike arms I fly.
True, a new mistress now I serve
The first foe in the field
And with a sterner faith embrace
The sword, a horse, a shield.
Yet this inconstancy is such
As thou too shalt adore.
I could not love thee, dear, so much
Loved I not honour more.
– Richard Lovelace (1618-1657)