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.
Constancy in Love
By Aphra Behn (1640–1689)
(From Poems, 1683)

A CONSTANCY in love I’ll prize,
  And be to beauty true;
And dote on all the lovely eyes,
  That are but fair and new.
On Cloris charms today I’ll feed,        5
  Tomorrow Daphne move;
For bright Lucinda next I’ll bleed,
  And still be true to love.
But glory only and renown
  My serious hours shall charm;        10
My nobler minutes those shall crown,
  My loose hours, my flame.
All the fatigues of love I’ll hate,
  And Phillis’s new charms
That hopeless fire shall dissipate,        15
  My heart for Cloe warms.
The easy Nymph I once enjoyed
  Neglected now shall pass,
Possession, that has love destroyed
  Shall make me pitiless.        20
In vain she now attracts and mourns,
  Her moving power is gone,
Too late (when once enjoyed) she burns,
  And yielding, is undone.
My friend, the little charming boy        25
  Conforms to my desires,
And ’tis but to augment my joy
  He pains me with his fires;
All that’s in happy love I’ll taste,
  And rifle all his store,        30
And for one Joy, that will not last,
  He brings a thousand more.

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