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The Well Read Poem

Aug 28, 2023

For the thirteenth season of the Well Read Poem, we will be reading six poems about war. War is, of course, one of the oldest subjects that has inspired the imagination of poets. The first of our great epics has at its center the war of the Greeks against the Trojans and the deadly hatreds it inspires. In times neare to our own, poets have written about war both with enthusiasm and delight, as well as skepticism and horror at its brutalities. The poems we will share this season cover the span of many centuries.

Today's poem is “To Lucasta, on Going to the Wars” by Richard Lovelace. Poem begins at timestamp 8:24. 

“To Lucasta, on Going to the Wars” 

by Richard Lovelace

Tell me not, Sweet, I am unkind,
That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
To war and arms I fly.
True, a new mistress now I chase,
The first foe in the field;
And with a stronger faith embrace
A 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 Honor more.