The Love Sonnets Of Proteus. Part I: To Manon: Ix
ON HER WAYWARDNESS
This is rank slavery. It better were
To till the thankless earth with sweat of brow,
Following dull oxen 'neath a goad of care
To a boor's grave agape behind the plough.
It better were to linger in some slow
Unnatural case, the sport of flood or fire,
To be undone by some inhuman vow
And robbed in youth of youth and its desire.
It better were to perish than thus live
Thy pensioner and bondsman, day by day
Doing fool's service thus for love of thee.
How shall I save thee if thou wilt not grieve
Even for shames like these? How shall I slay
The foes thou lovest, thou, their enemy?