The trouble with our current version of acceptable sexual behaviour is that the relationships end for any reason, and the emotions of the rejected are not considered at all. This poem would be hated by any of the modern psychologists? Why does he hate? Why does he call the woman who scorns him a murderess?
Because his feelings have been denied, and he still loves. Love has a shaodw and it is hate: in a more sane world the marriage vows and wise women teaching girls that love is to do with that between your ears and a choice, not mere desire.
So that a man will not call you murderess, but die for you.
When by thy scorn, O murd’ress, I am dead
And that thou think’st thee free
From all solicitation from me,
Then shall my ghost come to thy bed,
And thee, feign’d vestal, in worse arms shall see;
Then thy sick taper will begin to wink,
And he, whose thou art then, being tir’d before,
Will, if thou stir, or pinch to wake him, think
Thou call’st for more,
And in false sleep will from thee shrink;
And then, poor aspen wretch, neglected thou
Bath’d in a cold quicksilver sweat wilt lie
A verier ghost than I.
What I will say, I will not tell thee now,
Lest that preserve thee; and since my love is spent,
I’had rather thou shouldst painfully repent,
Than by my threat’nings rest still innocent.