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To be vex'd at a trifle or two that I writ,

Your judgment at once, and my passion, you wrong: You take that for fact, which will scarce be found wit;

Ods life! must one swear to the truth of a song? What I speak, my fair Chloe, and what I write, shows

The difference there is betwixt nature and art: I court others in verse—but I love thee in prose;

And they have my whimsies—but thou hast my heart. The God of us verse-men (you know, child) the Sun,

How after his journeys he sets up his rest:
If at morning o'er Earth ’tis his fancy to run;

At night he declines on his Thetis' breast.
So when I am wearied with wandering all day;

To thee, my delight, in the evening I come:
No matter what beauties I saw in my way:

They were but my visits, but thou art my home. Then finish, dear Chloe, this pastoral war;

And let us like Horace and Lydia agree; For thou art a girl as much brighter than her, As he was a poet sublimer than me.

Matthew Prior.


PHYLLIDA, that loved to dream
In the grove, or by the stream ;

Sigh'd on velvet pillow.
What, alas! should fill her head,
But a fountain, or a mead,

Water and a willow?

Love in cities never dwells,
He delights in rural cells

Which sweet woodbine covers.
What are your assemblies then?
There, 'tis true, we see more men;

But much fewer lovers.

O, how changed the prospect grows !
Flock and herds to fops and beaux,

Coxcombs without number!

Moon and stars that shone so bright,
To the torch and waxen light,

And whole nights at ombre.
Pleasant as it is to hear
Scandal tickling in our ear,

E’en of our own mothers;
In the chit-chat of the day,
To us is paid, when we're away,

What we lent to others.
Though the favourite Toast I reign;
Wine, they say, that prompts the vain,

Heightens defamation.
Must I live 'twixt spite and fear,
Every day grow handsomer,

And lose my reputation ?
Thus the fair to sighs gave way,
Her empty purse beside her lay.

Nymph, ah! cease thy sorrow.
Though curst Fortune frown to-night,
This odious town can give delight,
If you win to-morrow.

John Gay.



Thus Kitty, beautiful and young,

And wild as colt untamed,
Bespoke the fair from whence she sprung,

With little rage inflamed:
Inflamed with rage at sad restraint,

Which wise mamma ordain'd, And sorely vex’d to play the saint,

Whilst wit and beauty reign'd. “Shall I thumb holy books, confined

With Abigails, forsaken? Kitty's for other things design'd,

Or I am much mistaken.


Must Lady Jenny frisk about,

And visit with her cousins ?
At balls must she make all the rout,

And bring home hearts by dozens ?
What has she better, pray, than I ?

What hidden charms to boast, That all mankind for her should die,

Whilst I am scarce a toast? Dearest mamma, for once let me,

Unchain'd, my fortune try;
I'll have my Earl as well as she,

Or know the reason why.
I'll soon with Jenny's pride quit score,

Make all her lovers fall :
They'll grieve I was not loosed before :

She, I was loosed at all !”
Fondness prevail'd, -mamma gave way :

Kitty, at heart's desire, Obtain'd the chariot for a day, And set the world on fire.

Matthew Prior:


FALSE tho' she be to me and love

I'll ne'er pursue revenge;
For still the charmer I approve,

Tho' I deplore her change.
In hours of bliss we oft have met,

They could not always last;
And tho' the present I regret,
I'm grateful for the past.

William Congreve.


HER RIGHT NAME. As Nancy at her toilet sat, Admiring this and blaming that;

“Tell me," she said; “but tell me true; The nymph who could your heart subdue. What sort of charms does she possess ?” Absolve me, Fair One : I'll confess With pleasure,” I replied.

“ Her hair, In ringlets rather dark than fair, Does down her ivory bosom roll, And, hiding half, adorns the whole. In her high forehead's fair half-round Love sits in open triumph crown'd: He in the dimple of her chin, In private state, by friends is seen. Her eyes are neither black, nor grey ; Nor fierce, nor feeble is their ray; Their dubious lustre seems to show Something that speaks nor Yes, nor No. Her lips no living bard, I weet, May say, how red, how round, how sweet : Old Homer only could indite Their vagrant grace and soft delight : They stand recorded in his book, When Helen smiled, and Hebe spoke—"

The gipsy, turning to her glass, Too plainly show'd she knew the face : And which am I most like,” she said, “Your Chloe, or your nut-brown maid?”

Matthew Prior.



Let it not your wonder move,
Less your laughter, that I love.
Tho’ I now write fifty years,
I have had, and have my peers ;
Poets, tho' divine, are men :
Some have loved as old again.
And it is not always face,
Clothes, or fortune, gives the grace ;
Or the feature, or the youth :
But the language, and the truth,
With the ardour, and the passion,
Give the lover weight and fashion.

If you then will read the story,
First, prepare you to be sorry,
That you never knew till now,
Either whom to love or how:
But be glad, as soon with me,
When you know that this is she,
Of whose beauty it was sung,
“ She shall make the old man young,"
Keep the middle age at stay,
And let nothing high decay,
Till she be the reason, why,
All the world for love may die.




THE pride of every grove I chose,

The violet sweet, and lily fair,
The dappled pink, and blushing rose,

To deck my charming Chloe's hair.
At morn the nymph vouchsafed to place

Upon her brow the various wreath; The flowers less blooming than her face,

The scent less fragrant than her breath. The flowers she wore along the day;

And every nymph and shepherd said, That in her hair they looked more gay,

Than glowing in their native bed. Undrest at evening, when she found

Their odours lost, their colours past; She changed her look, and on the ground

Her garland and her eye she cast. That eye dropt sense distinct and clear,

As any muse's tongue could speak; When from its lid a pearly tear

Ran trickling down her beauteous check.

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