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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
A Better Answer
By Matthew Prior (1664–1721)
 
DEAR CHLOE, how blubbered is that pretty face;
  Thy cheek all on fire, and thy hair all uncurled:
Pr’ythee 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        5
  The beauties which Venus but lent to thy keeping?
Those looks were designed to inspire love and joy:
  More ord’nary eyes may serve people for weeping.
 
To be vexed at a trifle or two that I writ:
  Your judgment at once, and my passion you wrong;        10
You take that for fact, which will scarce be found wit:
  ’Ods life! must one swear to the truth of a song?
 
What I speak, my fair Chloe, and what I write, shows
  The difference there is betwixt nature and art:
I court others in verse, but I love thee in prose;        15
  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.        20
 
So when I am wearied with wandering 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;        25
  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.
 
 
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