Verse > John Dryden > Poems
John Dryden (1631–1700).  The Poems of John Dryden.  1913.
From Ovid’s Amours.
Book II. Eleg. XIX.
IF 1 for thy self thou wilt not watch thy Whore,
Watch her for me, that I may love her more.
What comes with ease, we nauseously receive,
Who, but a Sot, wou’d scorn to love with leave?
With hopes and fears my Flames are blown up higher;        5
Make me despair, and then I can desire.
Give me a Jilt to tease my Jealous mind;
Deceits are Vertues in the Female kind.
Corinna my Fantastick humour knew,
Play’d trick for trick, and kept her self still new:        10
She, that next night I might the sharper come,
Fell out with me, and sent me fasting home;
Or some pretence to lye alone would take,
Whene’er she pleas’d her head and teeth wou’d ake:
Till having won me to the highest strain,        15
She took occasion to be sweet again.
With what a Gust, ye Gods, we then imbrac’d!
How every kiss was dearer than the last!
  Thou whom I now adore, be edify’d,
Take care that I may often be deny’d.        20
Forget the promis’d hour, or feign some fright,
Make me lye rough on Bulks each other Night.
These are the Arts that best secure thy reign,
And this the Food that must my Fires maintain.
Gross easie Love does like gross diet, pall,        25
In squeasie Stomachs Honey turns to Gall.
Had Danae not been kept in brazen Tow’rs,
Jove had not thought her worth his Golden Show’rs.
When Juno to a Cow turn’d Io’s Shape,
The Watchman helpt her to a second Leap        30
Let him who loves an easie Whetstone Whore.
Pluck leaves from Trees, and drink the Common Shore.
The Jilting Harlot strikes the surest blow,
A truth which I by sad Experience know.
The kind poor constant Creature we despise,        35
Man but pursues the Quarry while it flies.
  But thou dull Husband of a Wife too fair,
Stand on thy Guard, and watch the pretious Ware;
If creaking Doors, or barking Dogs thou hear,
Or Windows scratcht, suspect a Rival there.        40
An Orange-wench wou’d tempt thy Wife abroad;
Kick her, for she’s a Letter-bearing Bawd;
In short, be Jealous as the Devil in Hell;
And set my Wit on work to cheat thee well.
The sneaking City Cuckold is my Foe,        45
I scorn to strike, but when he Wards the blow.
Look to thy hits, and leave off thy Conniving,
I’ll be no Drudge to any Wittall living;
I have been patient, and forborn thee long,
In hope thou wou’dst not pocket up thy wrong:        50
If no Affront can rouse thee, understand
I’ll take no more Indulgence at thy hand.
What, ne’er to be forbid thy House, and Wife!
Damn him who loves to lead so dull a life.
Now I can neither sigh, nor whine, nor pray,        55
All those occasions thou hast ta’ne away.
Why art thou so incorrigibly Civil?
Doe somewhat I may wish thee at the Devil.
For shame be no Accomplice in my Treason,
A Pimping Husband is too much in reason.        60
  Once more wear horns, before I quite forsake her,
In hopes whereof I rest thy Cuckold-maker.
Note 1. Text from the original of 1692. [back]

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.