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Go, let the fatted calf be kill’d;
My prodigal's come home at last,
With noble resolutions fill’d,
And fill'd with sorrow for the past:
No more will burn with love or wine;
But quite has left his women and his swine.
Welcome, ah ! welcome, my poor heart!
Welcome! I little thought, I’ll swear
('Tis now so long since we did part),
Ever again to see thee here:
Dear wanderer! since from me you fled,
How often have I heard that thou wert dead :
Hast thou not found each woman's breast
(The lands where thou hast travelled)
Either by savages possess'd,
Or wild and uninhabited ?
What joy couldst take, or what repose,
In countries so unciviliz'd as those?
Lust, the scorching dog-star, here
Rages with immoderate heat;
Whilst pride, the rugged Northern bear,
In others makes the cold too great:
And, where these are temperate known,
The soil's all barren sand or rocky stone.
When once or twice you chanced to view
A rich, well-govern'd heart,
Like China, it admitted you
But to the frontier-part.
From Paradise shut for evermore,
What good is't that an angel kept the door?
Well fare the pride, and the disdain,
And vanities, with beauty join'd;
I ne'er had seen this heart again,
If any fair-one had been kind:
My dove, but once let loose, I doubt
Would ne'er return, had not the flood been out.
FALSE, foolish heart I didst thou not say
That thou wouldst never leave me more ?
Behold! again 'tis fled away,
Fled as far from me as before.
I strove to bring it back again;
I cry’d and holloa'd after it in vain.
Even so the gentle Tyrian dame,
When neither grief nor love prevail,
Saw the dear object of her flame,
The ingrateful Trojan, hoist his sail :
Aloud she call'd to him to stay;
The wind bore him and her lost words away.
The doleful Ariadne so
On the wide shore forsaken stood:
“False Theseus, whither dost thou go?”
Afar false Theseus cut the flood.
But Bacchus came to her relief:
Bacchus himself's too weak to ease my grief.
Ah! senseless heart, to take no rest,
But travel thus eternally
Thus to be frozen in every breast !
And to be scorch'd in every eyes
Wandering about like wretched Cain,
Thrust-out, ill-used, by all, but by none slain!
Well, since thou wilt not here remain,
I'll e'en to live without thee try;
My head shall take the greater pain,
And all thy duties shall supply:
I can more easily live, I know,
Without thee, than without a mistress thou.
OR I’m a very dunce, or woman-kind
Is a most unintelligible thing:
I can no sense nor no contexture find,
Nor their loose parts to method bring:
I know not what the learn'd may see,
But they're strange Hebrew things to me.
By customs and traditions they live,
And foolish ceremonies of antique date;
We lovers new and better doctrines give,
Yet they continue obstinate:
Preach we, Love's prophets, what we will,
Like Jews, they keep their old law still.
Before their mothers' Gods they fondly fall,
Vain idol-gods, that have no sense nor mind:
Honour's their Ashtaroth, and pride their Baal,
The thundering Baal of woman-kind:
With twenty other devils more,
Which they, as we do them, adore.
But then, like men both covetous and devout,
Their costly superstition loath to omit—
And yet more loath to issue moneys out,
At their own charge to furnish it—
To these expensive Deities
The hearts of men they sacrifice.
SoME dull philosopher—when he hears me say
My soul is from me fled away,
Nor has of late inform'd my body here,
But in another's breast does lie,
That neither is, nor will be, I,
As a form servient and assisting there—
Will cry, “Absurd" and ask me how I live;
And syllogisms against it give.
A curse on all your vain philosophies,
Which on weak Nature's law depend,
And know not how to comprehend
Love and Religion, those great mysteries'
Her body is my soul; laugh not at this,
For by my life I swear it is.
'Tis that preserves my being and my breath;
From that proceeds all that I do,
Nay, all my thoughts and speeches too;
And separation from it is my death.
TIRED with the rough denials of my prayer,
From that hard she whom I obey,
I come, and find a nymph much gentler here,
That gives consent to all I say.
Ah, gentle nymph! who likest so well
In hollow, solitary caves to dwell;
Her heart being such, into it go,
And do but once from thence answer me sol
Complaisant nymph! who dost thus kindly share
In griefs whose cause thou dost not know;
Hadst thou but eyes, as well as tongue and ear,
How much compassion wouldst thou show !
Thy flame, whilst living, or a flower,
Was of less beauty, and less ravishing power.
Alas! I might as easily
Paint thee to her, as describe her to thee,
By repercussion beams engender fire;
Shapes by reflection shapes beget;
The voice itself, when stopp'd, does back retire,
And a new voice is made by it.
Thus things by opposition
The gainers grow; my barren love alone
Does from her stony breast rebound,
Producing neither image, fire, nor sound.
THEY say you're angry, and rant mightily,
Because I love the same as you :
Alas! you're very rich, 'tis true;
But, pr’ythee, fool! what's that to Love and me?
You’ave land and money, let that serve;
And know you’ave more by that than you deserve.
When next I see my fair-one, she shall know
How worthless thou art of her bed;
And, wretch! I'll strike thee dumb and dead,
With noble verse not understood by you;
Whilst thy sole rhetoric shall be
“Jointure” and “jewels,” and “our friends agree.”