Verse > Anthologies > T. R. Smith, ed. > Poetica Erotica: A Collection of Rare and Curious Amatory Verse
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T. R. Smith, comp.  Poetica Erotica: Rare and Curious Amatory Verse.  1921–22.
 
“If She Be Not As Kind”
By Sir George Etherege (1635?–1691)
 
(From The Comical Revenge, 1664)

IF she be not as kind as fair,
  But peevish and unhandy,
Leave her, she’s only worth the care
  Of some spruce jack-a-dandy.
I would not have thee such an ass,        5
  Hadst thou ne’er so much leisure,
To sigh and whine for such a lass
  Whose pride’s above her pleasure.
*        *        *        *        *
Ladies, though to your conquering eyes
  Love owes his chiefest victories,        10
And borrows those bright arms from you
With which he does the world subdue,
  Yet you yourself are not above
  The empire nor the griefs of love.
 
Then rack not lovers with disdain,        15
Lest Love on you revenge their pain;
You are not free because you’re fair;
The Boy did not his Mother spare:
  Beauty’s but an offensive dart,
  It is no armour for the heart.        20
 
 
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