Cordula's Web. NOAA. Wild Horses, Chilean Andes Mountains.
NOAA Photo Library: corp3011. Wild Horses, Chilean Andes. Philip Hall. HiRes. Gallery 15

La Belle Confidente

Thomas Stanley

You earthly Souls that court a wanton flame,
Whose pale weak influence
Can rise no higher then the humble name
And narrow laws of Sence,

Learn by our friendship to create
An immaterial fire,
Whose brightnesse Angels may admire,
But cannot emulate.

Sicknesse may fright the roses from her cheek,
Or make the Lilies fade,
But all the subtile wayes that death doth seek
Cannot my love invade:

Flames that are kindled by the eye,
Through time and age expire;
But ours that boast a reach far higher
Can nor decay, nor die.

For when we must resign our vital breath,
Our Loves by Fate benighted,
We by this friendship shall survive in death,
Even in divorce united.

Weak Love through fortune or distrust
In time forgets to burn,
But this pursues us to the Urn,
And marries either's Dust.

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