1725 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Milton

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, "Lines written in a Blank Leaf of Milton's Paradise Lost" 1725 ca.; Letters, ed. W. Moy Thomas (1861) 2:503.



This happy pair a certain bliss might prove,
Confined to constancy and mutual love:
Heaven to one object limited their vows,
The only safety faithless Nature knows.
God saw the wand'ring appetite would range,
And would have kept them from the power to change;
But falsehood, soon as man increased, began;
Down through the race with swift contagion ran,
All ranks are tainted, all deceitful prove,
False in all shapes, but doubly false in love.
This makes the censure of the world more just,
That damns with shame the weakness of a trust!