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(Written at the Hague, in the year 1696.)
While with labour assiduous due pleasure I mix,
TO A CHILD OF QUALITY FIVE YEARS OLD.
Lords, knights, and 'squires, the numerous band,
That wear the fair Miss Mary's fetters, Were summoned by her high command,
To show their passions by their letters.
My pen among the rest I took,
Lest those bright eyes that cannot read Should dart their kindling fires, and look
The power they have to be obeyed.
Nor quality, nor reputation,
Forbid me yet my flame to tell ;
And I may write till she can spell.
With all the tender things I swear ;
In papers round her baby's hair ; She may receive and own my flame,
For, though the strictest prudes should know it, She 'll pass for most virtuous dame,
And I for an unhappy poet.
Then too, alas ! when she shall tear
The lines some younger rival sends ; She 'll give me leave to write, I fear,
And we shall still continue friends.
For, as our different ages move,
'Tis so ordained, (would Fate but mend it!) That I shall be past making love,
When she begins to comprehend it.
In vain you tell your parting lover,
Be gentle, and in pity choose
TO A LADY : she refusing to continue a dispute with me, and
leaving me in the argument.
Spare, generous Victor, spare the slave,
Who did unequal war pursue ;
In being overcome by you.
In the dispute whate'er I said,
My heart was by my tongue belied ;
How much I argued on your side.
You, far from danger as from fear,
Might have sustained an open fight:
Your eyes are always in the riga
Why, fair one, would you not rely
On Reason's force with Beauty's joined ? Could I their prevalence deny,
I must at once be deaf and blind.
I only to the fight aspired :
Was all the glory I desired.
Contemns the wreath too long delayed ; And, armed with more immediate power,
Calls cruel silence to her aid.
She drops her arms, to gain the field : Secures her conquest by her flight ;
And triumphs, when she seems to yield. So when the Parthian turned his steed,
And from the hostile camp withdrew; With cruel skill the backward reed
He sent; and as he fled, he slew.
The merchant, to secure his treasure,
Conveys it in a borrowed name :
But Chloe is my real flame.
Upon Euphelia's toilet lay;
That I should sing, that I should play. My lyre I tune, my voice I raise ;
But with my numbers mix my sighs : And whilst I sing Euphelia's praise,
I fix my soul on Chloe's eyes.
Fair Chloe blushed : Euphelia frowned :
I sung and gazed : I played and trembled :
Remarked, how ill we all dissembled.
As after noon, one summer's day,
Venus stood bathing in a river;
New-strung his bow, new-filled his quiver.
With all his might his bow he drew :
The too-well-guided arrow flew.
O cruel, could'st thou find none other
Like Nero, thou hast slain thy mother.
Indeed, mamma, I did not know ye :
I took you for your likeness, Chloe.
A BETTER ANSWER'.
Dear Chloe, how blubbered is that pretty face !
Thy cheek all on fire, and thy hair all uncurled : Prythee quit this caprice ; and (as old Falstaff says)
Let us e'en talk a little like folks of this world. How can'st thou presume, thou hast leave to destroy
The beauties, which Venus but lent to thy keeping ? Those looks were designed to inspire love and joy :
More ordinary eyes may serve people for weeping. 11.c. than the · Answer to Chloe jealous,' which usually precedes it.