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Best Famous John Wilmot Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous John Wilmot poems. This is a select list of the best famous John Wilmot poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous John Wilmot poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of John Wilmot poems.

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Written by John Wilmot |

Upon Nothing

 Nothing, thou elder brother even to shade,
That hadst a being ere the world was made,
And (well fixed) art alone of ending not afraid.
Ere time and place were, time and place were not, When primitive Nothing Something straight begot, Then all proceeded from the great united--What? Something, the general attribute of all, Severed from thee, its sole original, Into thy boundless self must undistinguished fall.
Yet Something did thy mighty power command, And from thy fruitful emptiness's hand, Snatched men, beasts, birds, fire, air, and land.
Matter, the wickedest offspring of thy race, By Form assisted, flew from thy embrace, And rebel Light obscured thy reverend dusky face.
With Form and Matter, Time and Place did join, Body, thy foe, with these did leagues combine To spoil thy peaceful realm, and ruin all thy line.
But turncoat Time assists the foe in vain, And, bribed by thee, assists thy short-lived reign, And to thy hungry womb drives back thy slaves again.
Though mysteries are barred from laic eyes, And the Divine alone with warrant pries Into thy bosom, where thy truth in private lies, Yet this of thee the wise may freely say, Thou from the virtuous nothing takest away, And to be part of thee the wicked wisely pray.
Great Negative, how vainly would the wise Inquire, define, distinguish, teach, devise? Didst thou not stand to point their dull philosophies.
Is, or is not, the two great ends of Fate, And true or false, the subject of debate, That perfects, or destroys, the vast designs of Fate, When they have racked the politician's breast, Within thy bosom most securely rest, And, when reduced to thee, are least unsafe and best.
But Nothing, why does Something still permit That sacred monarchs should at council sit With persons highly thought at best for nothing fit? Whist weighty Something modestly abstains From princes' coffers, and from statesmen's brains, And Nothing there like stately Nothing reigns, Nothing, who dwellest with fools in grave disguise, For whom they reverend shapes and forms devise, Lawn sleeves, and furs, and gowns, when they like thee look wise.
French truth, Dutch prowess, British policy, Hibernian learning, Scotch civility, Spaniard's dispatch, Dane's wit are mainly seen in thee.
The great man's gratitude to his best friend, King's promises, whore's vows, towards thee they bend, Flow swiftly to thee, and in thee never end.

Written by John Wilmot |

The Mistress

 An age in her embraces passed
Would seem a winter's day;
When life and light, with envious haste,
Are torn and snatched away.
But, oh! how slowly minutes roll.
When absent from her eyes That feed my love, which is my soul, It languishes and dies.
For then no more a soul but shade It mournfully does move And haunts my breast, by absence made The living tomb of love.
You wiser men despise me not, Whose love-sick fancy raves On shades of souls and Heaven knows what; Short ages live in graves.
Whene'er those wounding eyes, so full Of sweetness, you did see, Had you not been profoundly dull, You had gone mad like me.
Nor censure us, you who perceive My best beloved and me Sign and lament, complain and grieve; You think we disagree.
Alas, 'tis sacred jealousy, Love raised to an extreme; The only proof 'twixt her and me, We love, and do not dream.
Fantastic fancies fondly move And in frail joys believe, Taking false pleasure for true love; But pain can ne'er deceive.
Kind jealous doubts, tormenting fears, And anxious cares when past, Prove our heart's treasure fixed and dear, And make us blessed at last.

Written by John Wilmot |

I Cannot Change As Others Do

 I cannot change, as others do,
Though you unjustly scorn;
Since that poor swain that sighs for you,
For you alone was born.
No, Phyllis, no, your heart to move A surer way I'll try: And to revenge my slighted love, Will still love on, will still love on, and die.
When, killed with grief, Amintas lies And you to mind shall call, The sighs that now unpitied rise, The tears that vainly fall, That welcome hour that ends this smart Will then begin your pain; For such a faithful tender heart Can never break, can never break in vain.

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Written by John Wilmot |


 I cannot change, as others do,
Though you unjustly scorn;
Since that poor swain, that sighs for you
For you alone was born.
No, Phyllis, no, your heart to move A surer way I'll try: And to revenge my slighted love, Will still love on, will still love on, and die.
When, kill'd with grief, Amyntas lies; And you to mind shall call The sighs that now unpitied rise; The tears that vainly fall: That welcome hour that ends this smart, Will then begin your pain; For such a faithful, tender heart Can never break, can never break in vain.

Written by John Wilmot |

Absent of Thee I Languish Still

 Absent from thee I languish still;
Then ask me not, when I return?
The straying fool 'twill plainly kill
To wish all day, all night to mourn.
Dear! from thine arms then let me fly, That my fantastic mind may prove The torments it deserves to try That tears my fixed heart from my love.
When, wearied with a world of woe, To thy safe bosom I retire where love and peace and truth does flow, May I contented there expire, Lest, once more wandering from that heaven, I fall on some base heart unblest, Faithless to thee, false, unforgiven, And lose my everlasting rest.

Written by John Wilmot |

The Disabled Debauchee

 As some brave admiral, in former war,
Deprived of force, but pressed with courage still,
Two rival fleets appearing from afar,
Crawls to the top of an adjacent hill;

From whence (with thoughts full of concern) he views
The wise and daring conduct of the fight,
And each bold action to his mind renews
His present glory, and his past delight;

From his fierce eyes, flashes of rage he throws,
As from black clouds when lightning breaks away,
Transported, thinks himself amidst his foes,
And absent yet enjoys the bloody day;

So when my days of impotence approach,
And I'm by pox and wine's unlucky chance,
Driven from the pleasing billows of debauch,
On the dull shore of lazy temperance,

My pains at last some respite shall afford,
Whilst I behold the battles you maintain,
When fleets of glasses sail about the board,
From whose broadsides volleys of wit shall rain.
Nor shall the sight of honourable scars, Which my too-forward valour did procure, Frighten new-listed soldiers from the wars.
Past joys have more than paid what I endure.
Should hopeful youths (worth being drunk) prove nice, And from their fair inviters meanly shrink, 'Twould please the ghost of my departed vice, If at my counsel they repent and drink.
Or should some cold-complexioned set forbid, With his dull morals, our night's brisk alarms, I'll fire his blood by telling what I did, When I was strong and able to bear arms.
I'll tell of whores attacked, their lords at home, Bawds' quarters beaten up, and fortress won, Windows demolished, watches overcome, And handsome ills by my contrivance done.
Nor shall our love-fits, Cloris, be forgot, When each the well-looked link-boy strove t'enjoy, And the best kiss was the deciding lot: Whether the boy fucked you, or I the boy.
With tales like these I will such heat inspire, As to important mischief shall incline.
I'll make them long some ancient church to fire, And fear no lewdness they're called to by wine.
Thus statesman-like, I'll saucily impose, And safe from danger valiantly advise, Sheltered in impotence, urge you to blows, And being good for nothing else, be wise.

Written by John Wilmot |

A Satyre on Charles II

 [Rochester had to flee the court for several months
after handing this to the King by mistake.
] In th' isle of Britain, long since famous grown For breeding the best cunts in Christendom, There reigns, and oh! long may he reign and thrive, The easiest King and best bred man alive.
Him no ambition moves to get reknown Like the French fool, that wanders up and down Starving his people, hazarding his crown.
Peace is his aim, his gentleness is such, And love he loves, for he loves fucking much.
Nor are his high desires above his strength: His scepter and his prick are of a length; And she may sway the one who plays with th' other, And make him little wiser than his brother.
Poor Prince! thy prick, like thy buffoons at court, Will govern thee because it makes thee sport.
'Tis sure the sauciest prick that e'er did swive, The proudest, peremptoriest prick alive.
Though safety, law, religion, life lay on 't, 'Twould break through all to make its way to cunt.
Restless he rolls about from whore to whore, A merry monarch, scandalous and poor.
To Carwell, the most dear of all his dears, The best relief of his declining years, Oft he bewails his fortune, and her fate: To love so well, and be beloved so late.
Yet his dull, graceless bollocks hang an arse.
This you'd believe, had I but time to tell ye The pains it costs to poor, laborious Nelly, Whilst she employs hands, fingers, mouth, and thighs, Ere she can raise the member she enjoys.
All monarchs I hate, and the thrones they sit on, From the hector of France to the cully of Britain.

Written by John Wilmot |

A Womans Honour

 Love bade me hope, and I obeyed;
Phyllis continued still unkind:
Then you may e'en despair, he said,
In vain I strive to change her mind.
Honour's got in, and keeps her heart, Durst he but venture once abroad, In my own right I'd take your part, And show myself the mightier God.
This huffing Honour domineers In breasts alone where he has place: But if true generous Love appears, The hector dares not show his face.
Let me still languish and complain, Be most unhumanly denied: I have some pleasure in my pain, She can have none with all her pride.
I fall a sacrifice to Love, She lives a wretch for Honour's sake; Whose tyrant does most cruel prove, The difference is not hard to make.
Consider real Honour then, You'll find hers cannot be the same; 'Tis noble confidence in men, In women, mean, mistrustful shame.

Written by John Wilmot |

A Song Of A Young Lady To Her Ancient Lover

 Ancient Person, for whom I
All the flattering youth defy,
Long be it e'er thou grow old,
Aching, shaking, crazy cold;
But still continue as thou art,
Ancient Person of my heart.
On thy withered lips and dry, Which like barren furrows lie, Brooding kisses I will pour, Shall thy youthful heart restore, Such kind show'rs in autumn fall, And a second spring recall; Nor from thee will ever part, Ancient Person of my heart.
Thy nobler parts, which but to name In our sex would be counted shame, By ages frozen grasp possest, From their ice shall be released, And, soothed by my reviving hand, In former warmth and vigour stand.
All a lover's wish can reach, For thy joy my love shall teach; And for thy pleasure shall improve All that art can add to love.
Yet still I love thee without art, Ancient Person of my heart.

Written by John Wilmot |

To His Mistress

 Why dost thou shade thy lovely face? O why
Does that eclipsing hand of thine deny
The sunshine of the Sun's enlivening eye? 

Without thy light what light remains in me?
Thou art my life; my way, my light's in thee; 
I live, I move, and by thy beams I see.
Thou art my life-if thou but turn away My life's a thousand deaths.
Thou art my way- Without.
thee, Love, I travel not but stray.
My light thou art-without thy glorious sight My eyes are darken'd with eternal night.
My Love, thou art my way, my life, my light.
Thou art my way; I wander if thou fly.
Thou art my light; if hid, how blind am I! Thou art my life; if thou withdraw'st, I die.
My eyes are dark and blind, I cannot see: To whom or whither should my darkness flee, But to that light?-and who's that light but thee? If I have lost my path, dear lover, say, Shall I still wander in a doubtful way? Love, shall a lamb of Israel's sheepfold stray? My path is lost, my wandering steps do stray; I cannot go, nor can I safely stay; Whom should I seek but thee, my path, my way? And yet thou turn'st thy face away and fly'st me! And yet I sue for grace and thou deny'st me! Speak, art thou angry, Love, or only try'st me? Thou art the pilgrim's path, the blind man's eye, The dead man's life.
On thee my hopes rely: If I but them remove, I surely die.
Dissolve thy sunbeams, close thy wings and stay! See, see how I am blind, and dead, and stray! -O thou art my life, my light, my way! Then work thy will! If passion bid me flee, My reason shall obey, my wings shall be Stretch'd out no farther than from me to thee!

Written by John Wilmot |

Give Me Leave to Rail at You

 Give me leave to rail at you, -
I ask nothing but my due:
To call you false, and then to say
You shall not keep my heart a day.
But alas! against my will I must be your captive still.
Ah! be kinder, then, for I Cannot change, and would not die.
Kindness has resistless charms; All besides but weakly move; Fiercest anger it disarms, And clips the wings of flying love.
Beauty does the heart invade, Kindness only can persuade; It gilds the lover's servile chain, And makes the slave grow pleased again.

Written by John Wilmot |

My Dear Mistress Has a Heart

 My dear mistress has a heart
Soft as those kind looks she gave me,
When with love's resistless art,
And her eyes, she did enslave me;
But her constancy's so weak,
She's so wild and apt to wander,
That my jealous heart would break
Should we live one day asunder.
Melting joys about her move, Killing pleasures, wounding blisses; She can dress her eyes in love, And her lips can arm with kisses; Angels listen when she speaks, She's my delight, all mankind's wonder; But my jealous heart would break Should we live one day asunder.

Written by John Wilmot |

To This Moment a Rebel

 To this moment a rebel I throw down my arms,
Great Love, at first sight of Olinda's bright charms.
Make proud and secure by such forces as these, You may now play the tyrant as soon as you please.
When Innocence, Beauty, and Wit do conspire To betray, and engage, and inflame my Desire, Why should I decline what I cannot avoid? And let pleasing Hope by base Fear be destroyed? Her innocence cannot contrive to undo me, Her beauty's inclined, or why should it pursue me? And Wit has to Pleasure been ever a friend, Then what room for Despair, since Delight is Love's end? There can be no danger in sweetness and youth, Where Love is secured by good nature and truth; On her beauty I'll gaze and of pleasure complain While every kind look adds a link to my chain.
'Tis more to maintain than it was to surprise, But her Wit leads in triumpth the slave of her eyes; I beheld, with the loss of my freedom before, But hearing, forever must serve and adore.
Too bright is my Goddess, her temple too weak: Retire, divine image! I feel my heart break.
Help, Love! I dissolve in a rapture of charms At the thought of those joys I should meet in her arms.

Written by John Wilmot |

The Platonic Lady

 I could love thee till I die,
Would'st thou love me modestly,
And ne'er press, whilst I live,
For more than willingly I would give:
Which should sufficient be to prove
I'd understand the art of love.
I hate the thing is called enjoyment: Besides it is a dull employment, It cuts off all that's life and fire From that which may be termed desire; Just like the bee whose sting is gone Converts the owner to a drone.
I love a youth will give me leave His body in my arms to wreathe; To press him gently, and to kiss; To sigh, and look with eyes that wish For what, if I could once obtain, I would neglect with flat disdain.
I'd give him liberty to toy And play with me, and count it joy.
Our freedom should be full complete, And nothing wanting but the feat.
Let's practice, then, and we shall prove These are the only sweets of love.

Written by John Wilmot |

A Fragment of Seneca Translated

 After Death nothing is, and nothing, death,
The utmost limit of a gasp of breath.
Let the ambitious zealot lay aside His hopes of heaven, whose faith is but his pride; Let slavish souls lay by their fear Nor be concerned which way nor where After this life they shall be hurled.
Dead, we become the lumber of the world, And to that mass of matter shall be swept Where things destroyed with things unborn are kept.
Devouring time swallows us whole.
Impartial death confounds body and soul.
For Hell and the foul fiend that rules God's everlasting fiery jails (Devised by rogues, dreaded by fools), With his grim, grisly dog that keeps the door, Are senseless stories, idle tales, Dreams, whimsey's, and no more.