by Matthew Prior
Dear Chloe, how blubber'd is that pretty face;
Thy cheek all on fire, and thy hair all uncurl'd:
Prythee quit this caprice; and (as old Falstaff says)
Let us e'en talk a little like folks of this world.
How canst thou presume, thou hast leave to destroy
The beauties, which Venus but lent to thy keeping?
Those looks were design'd to inspire love and joy:
More ord'nary eyes may serve people for weeping.
To be vext at a trifle or two that I writ,
Your judgment at once, and my passion you wrong:
You take that for fact, which will scarce be found wit:
Odds life! must one swear to the truth of a song?
What I speak, my fair Chloe, and what I write, shows
The diff'rence there is betwixt nature and art:
I court others in verse; but I love thee in prose:
And they have my whimsies, but thou hast my heart.
The god of us verse-men (you know, child) the Sun,
How after his journeys he sets up his rest:
If at morning o'er earth 'tis his fancy to run;
At night he declines on his Thetis's breast.
So when I am wearied with wand'ring all day,
To thee my delight in the evening I come:
No matter what beauties I saw in my way;
They were but my visits, but thou art my home.
Then finish, dear Chloe, this pastoral war;
And let us like Horace and Lydia agree:
For thou art a girl as much brighter than her,
As he was a poet sublimer than me.
Last updated May 02, 2015