Verse > Anthologies > Fuess and Stearns, eds. > The Little Book of Society Verse
Fuess and Stearns, comps.  The Little Book of Society Verse.  1922.
The Gift
By Oliver Goldsmith
To Iris, in Bow Street, Covent Garden

SAY, cruel Iris, pretty rake,
  Dear mercenary beauty,
What annual offering shall I make
  Expressive of my duty?
My heart, a victim to thine eyes,        5
  Shall I at once deliver,
Say, would the angry fair one prize
  The gift who slights the giver?
A bill, a jewel, watch, or toy,
  My rivals give—and let them,        10
If gems or gold impart a joy,
  I’ll give them when I get them.
I’ll give—but not the full blown rose,
  Or rosebud more in fashion;
Such short-lived offerings but disclose        15
  A transitory passion.
I’ll give thee something yet unpaid,
  Not less sincere than civil:
I’ll give thee—ah! too charming maid,
  I’ll give thee—to the devil.        20

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