The Course of True Love

 

Ay me! For aught that I could ever read,

Could ever hear by tale or history,

The course of true love never did run smooth:

O cross! too high to be enthrall’d to low!

Or else misgraffed in respect of years; —

O spite! Too old to be engag’d to young!

Or else it stood upon the choice of friends:

O hell! to chose by love another’s eye!

Or, if there were a sympathy in choice,

War, death, or sickness, did lay siege to it,

Making it momentary as a sound,

Swift as a shadow, short as any dream;

Brief as the lightning in the collied night

That in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth,

And ere a man hath power to say, Behold!

The jaws of darkness do devour it up:

So quick bright things come to confusion.

If then true lovers have been ever cross’d,

It stands as an edict in destiny:

Then let us teach our trial patience,

Because it is a customary cross; (sighs)

As due to love as thoughts, and dreams, and

Wishes, and tears, poor fancy’s followers.

 

— Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

 

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