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.
Advice to a Lady
By Matthew Prior (1664–1721)
(From Poems, 1722)

PHILLIS, give this humour over,
  We too long have time abused;
I shall turn an errant rover,
  If the favour’s still refused.
Faith! ’tis nonsense out of measure,        5
  Without ending thus to see
Women forced to taste a pleasure
  Which they love as well as we.
Let not pride and folly share you,
  We were made but to enjoy;        10
Ne’er will age or censure spare you,
  E’er the more for being coy.
Never fancy Time’s before you,
  Youth, believe me, will away;
Then, alas! who will adore you,        15
  Or to wrinkles tribute pay?
All the swains on you attending
  Show how much your charms deserve;
But, miser-like, for fear of spending,
  You amidst your plenty starve.        20
While a thousand freer lasses,
  Who their youth and charms employ,
Though your beauty their’s surpasses,
  Live in far more perfect joy.

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