Matthew Prior

M
Matthew Prior
A Fable
In Aesop’s tales an honest wretch we find,
Whose years and comforts equally declined;
He in two wives had two domestic ills,
For different age they had, and different wills;
One plucked his black hairs out, and one his gray,
The man for quietness did both obey,
Till all his parish saw his head quite bare,
And thought he wanted brains as well as hair.

The Moral

The parties, henpecked William, are thy wives,
The hairs they pluck are thy prerogatives;
Tories thy person hate, the Whigs thy power,
Though much thou yieldest, still they tug for more,
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An Ode
The merchant, to secure his treasure,
Conveys it in a borrowed name;
Euphelia serves to grace my measure,
But Cloe is my real flame.

My softest verse, my darling lyre,
Upon Euphelia’s toilet lay;
When Cloe noted her desire
That I should sing, that I should play.
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A True Maid
No, no; for my virginity,
When I lose that, says Rose, I’ll die:
Behind the elms, last night, cried Dick,
Rose, were you not extremely sick?

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