Conquest By Flight: Song "Only They Conquer Love That Run Away"
by Thomas Carew

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"Only They Conquer Love That Run Away"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: Thomas Carew's "Conquest by Flight" contains advice for both ladies and young men. It tells the ladies to fly from smooth lovers' talk and from oaths mixed with tears; the grief of their lovers is infectious, and the very air, filled full of sighs, will blast them. They are to stop their ears when their lovers protest, lest they themselves fall a-weeping when the love affair is over and done with and they bewail their misspent pity. The young men are to flee when the young ladies dart amorous glances at them, as ladies' looks have power to wound. In their lips, their eyes, their smiles, and their kisses love lies–a play on "residing" and "prevaricating." The only course for the young man to pursue is to flee from the fair ones, because only the ones who run away can conquer love. The conclusion of the poem follows:

. . . And ladies' looks have power to maim;
Now 'twixt their lips, now in their eyes,
Wrapped in a smile, a kiss, love lies,
Then fly betimes, for only they
Conquer love that run away.