Aphra Behn

A
Aphra Behn
On the Death of the Late Earl of Rochester
Mourn, mourn, ye Muses, all your loss deplore,
The young, the noble Strephon is no more.
Yes, yes, he fled quick as departing light,
And ne’er shall rise from Death’s eternal night,
So rich a prize the Stygian gods ne’er bore,
Such wit, such beauty, never graced their shore.
He was but lent this duller world t’ improve
In all the charms of poetry, and love;
Both were his gift, which freely he bestowed,
And like a god, dealt to the wond’ring crowd.
Scorning the little vanity of fame,
Spight of himself attained a glorious name.
But oh! in vain was all his peevish pride,
The sun as soon might his vast luster hide,
As piercing, pointed, and more lasting bright,
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Angellica’s Lament
Had I remained in innocent security,
I should have thought all men were born my slaves,
And worn my power like lightning in my eyes,
To have destroyed at pleasure when offended.
—But when love held the mirror, the undeceiving glass
Reflected all the weakness of my soul, and made me know
My richest treasure being lost, my honour,
All the remaining spoil could not be worth
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The Dream
All trembling in my arms Aminta lay,
Defending of the bliss I strove to take;
Raising my rapture by her kind delay,
Her force so charming was and weak.
The soft resistance did betray the grant,
While I pressed on the heaven of my desires;
Her rising breasts with nimbler motions pant;
Her dying eyes assume new fires.
Now to the height of languishment she grows,
And still her looks new charms put on;
Now the last mystery of Love she knows,
We sigh, and kiss: I waked, and all was done.

‘Twas but a dream, yet by my heart I knew,
Which still was panting, part of it was true:
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Love's Witness
Slight unpremeditated Words are borne
By every common Wind into the Air;
Carelessly utter’d, die as soon as born,
And in one instant give both Hope and Fear:
Breathing all Contraries with the same Wind
According to the Caprice of the Mind.

But Billetdoux are constant Witnesses,
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Oh, How the Hand the Lover Ought to Prize
Oh, how the hand the lover ought to prize
’Bove any one peculiar grace!
While he is dying for the eyes
And doting on the lovely face,
The unconsid’ring little knows
How much he to this beauty owes.

That, when the lover absent is,
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Song
O Love! that stronger art than wine,
Pleasing delusion, witchery divine,
Wont to be prized above all wealth,
Disease that has more joys than health;
Though we blaspheme thee in our pain,
And of thy tyranny complain,
We are all bettered by they reign.

What reason never can bestow
We to this useful passion owe;
Love wakes the dull from sluggish ease,
And learns a clown the art to please,
Humbles the vain, kindles the cold,
Makes misers free, and cowards bold;
’Tis he reforms the sot from drink,
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A Thousand Martyrs
A thousand martyrs I have made,
All sacrificed to my desire;
A thousand beauties have betrayed,
That languish in resistless fire.
The untamed heart to hand I brought,
And fixed the wild and wandering thought.

I never vowed nor sighed in vain
But both, though false, were well received.
The fair are pleased to give us pain,
And what they wish is soon believed.
And though I talked of wounds and smart,
Love’s pleasures only touched my heart.

Alone the glory and the spoil
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from To Alexis In Answer to His Poem Against Fruition
Since man with that inconstancy was born,
To love the absent, and the present scorn
Why do we deck, why do we dress
For such short-lived happiness?
Why do we put attraction on,
Since either way ’tis we must be undone?

They fly if honour take our part,
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To Lysander
(On some Verses he writ, and asking more for his Heart than ‘twas worth.) I
Take back that Heart, you with such Caution give,
Take the fond valu’d Trifle back;
I hate Love-Merchants that a Trade wou’d drive
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To the Fair Clorinda
WHO MADE LOVE TO ME,
IMAGIN’D MORE THAN WOMAN Fair lovely Maid, or if that Title be
Too weak, too Feminine for Nobler thee,
Permit a Name that more Approaches Truth:
And let me call thee, Lovely Charming Youth.
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The Willing Mistriss
Amyntas led me to a Grove,
Where all the Trees did shade us;
The Sun it self, though it had Strove,
It could not have betray’d us:
The place secur’d from humane Eyes,
No other fear allows.
But when the Winds that gently rise,
Doe Kiss the yielding Boughs.
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The Disappointment
1
ONE Day the Amarous Lisander,
By an impatient Passion sway'd,
Surpris'd fair Cloris, that lov'd Maid,
Who cou'd defend her self no longer ;
All things did with his Love conspire,
The gilded Planet of the Day,
In his gay Chariot, drawn by Fire,
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Epitaph on the Tombstone of a Child, the Last of Seven that Died Before

This Little, Silent, Gloomy Monument,
Contains all that was sweet and innocent ;
The softest pratler that e'er found a Tongue,
His Voice was Musick and his Words a Song ;
Which now each List'ning Angel smiling hears,
Such pretty Harmonies compose the Spheres;
Wanton as unfledg'd Cupids, ere their Charms
Has learn'd the little arts of doing harms ;
Fair as young Cherubins, as soft and kind,
And tho translated could not be refin'd ;
The Seventh dear pledge the Nuptial Joys had given,
Toil'd here on Earth, retir'd to rest in Heaven ;
Where they the shining Host of Angels fill,
Spread their gay wings before the Throne, and smile.
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Love Armed
Song from Abdelazar Love in Fantastic Triumph sat,
Whilst Bleeding Hearts around him flowed,
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