Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Restoration Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Restoration Verse.  1910.
 
Song: ‘O Love! that stronger art than wine’
By Aphra Behn (1640–1689)
 
O LOVE! 1 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,        5
And of thy tyranny complain,
We are all bettered by thy reign.
 
What reason never can bestow
We to this useful passion owe:
Love wakes the dull from sluggish ease,        10
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,
And teaches airy fops to think.        15
 
When full brute appetite is fed,
And choked the glutton lies and dead,
Thou new spirits dost dispense
And finest the gross delights of sense:
Virtue’s unconquerable aid        20
That against Nature can persuade,
And makes a roving mind retire
Within the bounds of just desire;
Cheerer of age, youth’s kind unrest,
And half the heaven of the blest!        25
 
Note 1. From The Lucky Chance, act iii, sc. 1. 1687. [back]
 
 
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