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John Wilmot Rochester
1647-1680


BOOKS on-line

 

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The Maidenhead
Impromptu on Charles II
Against constancy
Life and Love


The Maidenhead

Have you not in a chimney seen
A sullen faggot wet and green,
How coyly it received the heat,
And at both ends does fume and sweat?

So goes it with the harmless maid
When first upon her back shes laid:
But the well-experienced dame,
Cracks and rejoices in the flame.


Impromptu on Charles II

God bless our good and gracious King,
Whose promise none relies on;
Who never said a foolish thing,
Nor ever did a wise one.


Against constancy

Tell me no more of constancy,
The frivilous pretense
Of cold age, narrow jealousy
Disease, and want of sense.

Let duller fools, on whom kind chance
Sonme easy heart has thrown,
Despairing higher to advance,
Be kind to one alone.

Old men and weak, whose idle flame
Their own defects discovers,
Since changing can but spread their shame,
Ought to be constant lovers.

But we, whose hearts do justly swell
With no vainglorious pride,
Who know how we in love excel,
Long to be often tried.

Then bring my bath, and strew my bed,
As each kind night returns;
I'll change a mistress till I'm dead
And fate change me to worms.


Life and Love

All my past life is mine not more
The flying hours are gone,
Like transitory dreams given oer,
Whose images are kept in store
By memory alone.

What ever is to come is not,
How can it then be mine?
The present moments all my lot,
And that as fast as it is got
Phyllis, is wholly thine.

Then talk not of inconstancy,
False hearts, and broken vows,
If I, by miracle, can be,
This live-long minute true to thee,
Tis all that heaven allows.


BOOKS on-line

 

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2000 Elena and Yacov Feldman