429. Rivals

William Walsh. 1663-1708

OF all the torments, all the cares,
  With which our lives are curst;
Of all the plagues a lover bears,
  Sure rivals are the worst!
By partners in each other kind
  Afflictions easier grow;
In love alone we hate to find
  Companions of our woe.

Sylvia, for all the pangs you see
  Are labouring in my breast,
I beg not you would favour me,
  Would you but slight the rest!
How great soe'er your rigours are,
  With them alone I'll cope;
I can endure my own despair,
  But not another's hope.

The Oxford Book of English Verse, HTML edition