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THE MISTRESS;

OR,

SEVERAL COPIES OF LOVE VERSES.

“ Hæret lateri lethalis arundo.”

VIRG.

THE REQUEST.
I’AVE often wish'd to love; what shall I do?

Me still the cruel boy does spare ;

And I a double task must bear,
First to woo him, and then a mistress too.

Come at last and strike, for shame,
If thou art any thing besides a name;

I'll think thee else no God to be,
But poets rather Gods, who first created thee.

I ask not one in whom all beauties grow;

Let me but love, whate'er she be,

She cannot seem deform’d to me;
And I would have her seem to others so.

Desire takes wings and straight does fly,
It stays not dully to inquire the Why.

That happy thing, a lover, grown, [own. I shall not see with others' eyes, scarce with mine

VOL. II.

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If she be coy, and scorn my noble fire;

If her chill heart I cannot move;

Why I'll enjoy the very love,
And make a mistress of my own desire.

Flames their most vigorous heat do hold,
And purest light, if compass'd round with cold :

So, when sharp winter means most harm, The springing plants are by the snow itself kept

warm.

But do not touch my heart, and so be gone ;

Strike deep thy burning arrows in !

Lukewarmness I account a sin,
As great in love as in religion.
Come arm’d with flames; for I would

prove All the extremities of mighty Love.

The' excess of heat is but a fable; We know the torrid zone is now found habitable. Among the woods and forests thou art found,

There boars and lions thou dost tame;

Is not my heart a nobler game?
Let Venus, men ; and beasts, Diana, wound !

Thou dost the birds thy subjects make;
Thy nimble feathers do their wings o'ertake:

Thou all the spring their songs dost hear; Make me love too, I'll sing to thee all the year! What service can mute fishes do to thee?

Yet against them thy dart prevails,

Piercing the armour of their scales;
And still thy sea-born mother lives i’ the' sea.

Dost thou deny only to me
The no-great privilege of captivity ?

I beg or challenge here thy bow;
Either thy pity to me, or else thine anger,

show.

Come! or I'll teach the world to scorn that bow:

I'll teach them thousand wholesome arts

Both to resist and cure thy darts,
More than thy skilful Ovid e'er did know.

Music of sighs thou shalt not hear,
Nor drink one wretched lover's tasteful tear:

Nay, unless soon thou woundest me,
My verses shall not only wound, but murder, thee.

THE THRALDOM.
I CAME, I saw, and was undone ;
Lightning did through my bones and marrow run;

A pointed pain pierced deep my heart;
A swift cold trembling seized on every part;

My head turn'd round, nor could it bear
The poison that was enter'd there.
So a destroying-angel's breath
Blows in the plague, and with it hasty death :

Such was the pain, did so begin,
To the poor wretch, when Legion enter'd in.

“Forgive me, God!" I cry'd; for I
Flatter'd myself I was to die.

But quickly to my cost I found, 'Twas cruel Love, not Death, had made the wound;

Death a more generous rage does use;
Quarter to all he conquers does refuse :

Whilst Love with barbarous mercy saves
The vanquish'd lives, to make them slaves.

I am thy slave then; let me know,
Hard master! the great task I have to do:

Who pride and scorn do undergo.
In tempests and rough seas thy galleys row;

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They pant, and groan, and sigh ; but find
Their sighs increase the angry

wind. Like an Egyptian tyrant, some Thou weariest out in building but a tomb;

Others, with sad and tedious art, Labour i' the quarries of a stony heart:

Of all the works thou dost assign

To all the several slaves of thine, Employ me, mighty Love! to dig the mine.

THE GIVEN LOVE.

I'll on; for what should hinder me
From loying and enjoying thee?
Thou canst not those exceptions make,
Which vulgar, sordid mortals take-
That
my

fate's too mean and low;
'Twere pity I should love thee so,
If that dull cause could hinder me
In loving and enjoying thee.
It does not me a whit displease,
That the rich all honours seize ;
That
you

all titles make your own, Are valiant, learned, wise, alone: But, if you claim o'er women too The power

which over men ye do;
If
you

alone must lovers be;
For that, Sirs, you must pardon me.
Rather than lose what does so near
Concern' my life and being here,
I'll some such crooked ways invent,
As

you, or your forefathers, went:

I'll flatter or oppose the king,
Turn Puritan, or any thing;
I'll force my mind to arts so new :
Grow rich, and love as well as you.
But rather thus let me remain,
As man in paradise did reign ;
When perfect love did so agree
With innocence and poverty,
Adam did no jointure give;
Himself was jointure to his Eve: .
Untouch'd with avarice yet, or pride,
The rib came freely back to his side.
A curse upon

the man who taught
Women, that love was to be bought!
Rather dote only on your gold,
And that with greedy avarice hold;
For, if woman too submit
To that, and sell herself for it,
Fond lover! you a mistress have
Of her that's but

your

fellow-slave, What should those poets mean of old, That made their God to woo in gold ? Of all men, sure, they had no cause To bind love to such costly laws; And yet I scarcely blame them now; For who, alas ! would not allow, That women should such gifts receive, Could they, as he, be what they give ? If thou, my dear, thyself shouldst prize, Alas! what value would suffice ? The Spaniard could not do't, though he Should to both Indies jointure thee.

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