Verse > Anthologies > Fuess and Stearns, eds. > The Little Book of Society Verse
Fuess and Stearns, comps.  The Little Book of Society Verse.  1922.
The Peremptory Lover
’T IS not your beauty nor your wit
  That can my heart obtain,
For they could never conquer yet
  Either my breast or brain;
For if you’ll not prove kind to me,        5
  And true as heretofore,
Henceforth I’ll scorn your slave to be,
  And doat on you no more.
Think not my fancy to o’ercome
  By proving thus unkind;        10
No smothered sigh, nor smiling frown,
  Can satisfy my mind.
Pray let Platonics play such pranks,
  Such follies I deride;
For love at least I will have thanks,—        15
  And something else beside!
Then open-hearted be with me,
  As I shall be, I vow,
And let our actions be as free
  As virtue will allow.        20
If you’ll prove loving, I’ll prove kind,—
  If constant, I’ll be true;
If Fortune chance to change your mind,
  I’ll turn as soon as you.
Since our affections well ye know,        25
  In equal terms do stand,
’T is in your power to love or no,
  Mine’s likewise in my hand.
Dispense with your austerity,
  Inconstancy abhor,        30
Or, by great Cupid’s deity,
  I’ll never love thee more.

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