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To Lucasta, Going to the Wars

To Lucasta, Going to the Wars


by Richard Lovelace

Stanza 3 Summary

Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.

Lines 9-10

Yet this inconstancy is such,
As you too shall adore;

  • At the beginning of the third stanza, the speaker's all, "but it's cool, Lucasta, because you'll like the fact that I'm sort of stepping out on you with, you know, war."
  • That's what he means when he says she'll "adore" his "inconstancy" or unfaithfulness. Apparently, it's "such as" or the kind of unfaithfulness that she'll be on board with.

Lines 10-11

I could not love thee, Dear, so much,
Loved I not honour more.

  • Ah, so now we get every part of the poem tied up in a neat little bow. 
  • Apparently, Lucasta will totally adore the speaker's inconstancy because he couldn't love her as much as he does if he didn't love honor even more.
  • And that mysterious remark answers the question of what it is about warfare that has our speaker so passionate: honor. 
  • If we understand that correctly, we take it to mean that his greater love of honor is what ultimately makes him capable of loving a woman. Hmmm. That's new. 
  • We can't help but wonder if this grand finale is really going to placate this Lucasta lady. But we guess that's a question only she can answer.
  • Finally, did you notice that this poem has a rhyme scheme and a definite structure to it? That's because it's written in ballad meter, and for more on that, you'll just have to check out our "Form and Meter" section.

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