Verse > Anthologies > T. R. Smith, ed. > Poetica Erotica: A Collection of Rare and Curious Amatory Verse
T. R. Smith, comp.  Poetica Erotica: Rare and Curious Amatory Verse.  1921–22.
An Epilogue
By John Crowne (1640?–1712)
(From The Destruction of Jerusalem)

HOW! is the gallant British nation here?
Nay then in spite of Titus I’ll appear,
And make this brave assembly judge my cause;
Would you forsake your loves for fear of laws?
You are as brave, where love is in the case,        5
Men fear no danger, women no disgrace.
A confidant is out of fashion grown,
Or any common friend will serve for one.
Who, madam, pays your eyes their tribute due?
—’Tis my Lord such a one:—and, is he true?—        10
—Oh! very true, and worthy my esteem.—
—And, madam, had you pretty Miss by him?—
—Yes, madam;—oh! we lead a pleasant life,
Lord how we laugh at his poor nauseous wife!—
—I thought you were adored by such a one:—        15
—I loved him first, but that intrigue is done.—
—Why did you part?—He was a younger brother;
Besides, we grew weary of each other.
Thus brave are you, nor can you well forbear;
Your women charming, men most gallant are.        20
With this small beauty I might servants have,
Now I am free; but I your pardon crave,
I never more will any friendships make,
For my unkind, unconstant lover’s sake.
No!—you love as Gauls do in the field,        25
Charge fierce, subdue, but soon your conquests yield;
Never keep long the beauties which you take,
But first dismantle them, then give them back.
Then to all new intrigues a long farewell;
But woman-like though I dissemble well,        30
I love to talk of my false lover oft;
And if the passions I have sighed be soft,
And such as may unhappy beauties please,
All you forsaken slighted mistresses,
In mind, to hear your own complainings come;        35
’Tis better than to mope alone at home,
Or in the rooms, where first your hearts were won,
Or private lodgings, where you were—undone.
Come, all of you! But if the half resort,
Queen Berenice will have a crowded court.        40

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