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To Lucasta, Going to the Wars

To Lucasta, Going to the Wars


by Richard Lovelace

Words of Love

Symbol Analysis

"To Lucasta" is something of a goodbye letter that you would write to your wife or girlfriend; naturally, there's plenty of the swoony stuff. The strange thing is, sometimes these words of love (like "embrace" and "adore") are used, not to refer to romantic love, but love of weapons and war. Yikes. Now that's awkward.

  • Line 1: The speaker refers to Lucasta as "Sweet," almost like the modern-day "sweetheart" or "honey." We're here to tell you that it ain't a love poem if there's no term of endearment. So you can go ahead and check that box. 
  • Lines 5-6: The speaker says that he now chases a "new mistress"—the "first foe in the field." The "first foe" isn't literally his mistress (that might get weird), so here "mistress" is a metaphor. The speaker will pursue his enemy just as he pursued Lucasta.
  • Lines 7-8: Now the speaker "embraces" the weapons of war with a "stronger faith" than he embraces Lucasta. Harsh, dude. We're gonna go and recommend How to Talk to Women 101, now being offered at your local adult education center.
  • Line 10: The speaker tells Lucasta that she will "adore" (a word associated with love and affection) his "inconstancy" or his unfaithfulness. This is quickly becoming the opposite of a country song. 
  • Line 11: The speaker calls Lucasta "Dear," so we can tally up the terms of endearment to two.
  • Line 12: The speaker talks about how he loves "honour" more than Lucasta. But hey, at least he loves her.

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