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Written by John Wilmot | Create an image from this poem

A Satyre Against Mankind

 Were I - who to my cost already am
One of those strange, prodigious creatures, man -
A spirit free to choose for my own share
What sort of flesh and blood I pleased to wear,
I'd be a dog, a monkey, or a bear,
Or anything but that vain animal,
Who is so proud of being rational.
His senses are too gross; and he'll contrive A sixth, to contradict the other five; And before certain instinct will prefer Reason, which fifty times for one does err.
Reason, an ignis fatuus of the mind, Which leaving light of nature, sense, behind, Pathless and dangerous wand'ring ways it takes, Through Error's fenny bogs and thorny brakes; Whilst the misguided follower climbs with pain Mountains of whimsey's, heaped in his own brain; Stumbling from thought to thought, falls headlong down, Into Doubt's boundless sea where, like to drown, Books bear him up awhile, and make him try To swim with bladders of Philosophy; In hopes still to o'ertake the escaping light; The vapour dances, in his dancing sight, Till spent, it leaves him to eternal night.
Then old age and experience, hand in hand, Lead him to death, make him to understand, After a search so painful, and so long, That all his life he has been in the wrong: Huddled In dirt the reasoning engine lies, Who was so proud, so witty, and so wise.
Pride drew him in, as cheats their bubbles catch, And made him venture; to be made a wretch.
His wisdom did has happiness destroy, Aiming to know that world he should enjoy; And Wit was his vain, frivolous pretence Of pleasing others, at his own expense.
For wits are treated just like common whores, First they're enjoyed, and then kicked out of doors; The pleasure past, a threatening doubt remains, That frights th' enjoyer with succeeding pains: Women and men of wit are dangerous tools, And ever fatal to admiring fools.
Pleasure allures, and when the fops escape, 'Tis not that they're beloved, but fortunate, And therefore what they fear, at heart they hate: But now, methinks some formal band and beard Takes me to task; come on sir, I'm prepared: "Then by your Favour, anything that's writ Against this jibing, jingling knack called Wit Likes me abundantly: but you take care Upon this point not to be too severe.
Perhaps my Muse were fitter for this part, For I profess I can be very smart On Wit, which I abhor with all my heart; I long to lash it in some sharp essay, But your grand indiscretion bids me stay, And turns my tide of ink another way.
What rage Torments in your degenerate mind, To make you rail at reason, and mankind Blessed glorious man! To whom alone kind heaven An everlasting soul hath freely given; Whom his great maker took such care to make, That from himself he did the image take; And this fair frame in shining reason dressed, To dignify his nature above beast.
Reason, by whose aspiring influence We take a flight beyond material sense, Dive into mysteries, then soaring pierce The flaming limits of the universe, Search heaven and hell, Find out what's acted there, And give the world true grounds of hope and fear.
" Hold mighty man, I cry, all this we know, From the pathetic pen of Ingelo; From Patrlck's Pilgrim, Sibbes' Soliloquies, And 'tis this very reason I despise, This supernatural gift that makes a mite Think he's an image of the infinite; Comparing his short life, void of all rest, To the eternal, and the ever-blessed.
This busy, pushing stirrer-up of doubt, That frames deep mysteries, then finds them out; Filling with frantic crowds of thinking fools The reverend bedlam's, colleges and schools; Borne on whose wings each heavy sot can pierce The limits of the boundless universe; So charming ointments make an old witch fly, And bear a crippled carcass through the sky.
'Tis the exalted power whose business lies In nonsense and impossibilities.
This made a whimsical philosopher Before the spacious world his tub prefer, And we have modern cloistered coxcombs, who Retire to think 'cause they have nought to do.
But thoughts are given for action's government; Where action ceases, thought's impertinent: Our sphere of action is life's happiness, And he that thinks beyond thinks like an ass.
Thus, whilst against false reasoning I inveigh.
I own right reason, which I would obey: That reason which distinguishes by sense, And gives us rules of good and ill from thence; That bounds desires.
with a reforming will To keep 'em more in vigour, not to kill.
- Your reason hinders, mine helps to enjoy, Renewing appetites yours would destroy.
My reason is my friend, yours is a cheat, Hunger calls out, my reason bids me eat; Perversely.
yours your appetite does mock: This asks for food, that answers, 'what's o'clock' This plain distinction, sir, your doubt secures, 'Tis not true reason I despise, but yours.
Thus I think reason righted, but for man, I'll ne'er recant, defend him if you can: For all his pride, and his philosophy, 'Tis evident: beasts are in their own degree As wise at least, and better far than he.
Those creatures are the wisest who attain.
- By surest means.
the ends at which they aim.
If therefore Jowler finds and kills the hares, Better than Meres supplies committee chairs; Though one's a statesman, th' other but a hound, Jowler in justice would be wiser found.
You see how far man's wisdom here extends.
Look next if human nature makes amends; Whose principles are most generous and just, - And to whose morals you would sooner trust: Be judge yourself, I'll bring it to the test, Which is the basest creature, man or beast Birds feed on birds, beasts on each other prey, But savage man alone does man betray: Pressed by necessity; they kill for food, Man undoes man, to do himself no good.
With teeth and claws, by nature armed, they hunt Nature's allowance, to supply their want.
But man, with smiles, embraces.
friendships.
Praise, Inhumanely his fellow's life betrays; With voluntary pains works his distress, Not through necessity, but wantonness.
For hunger or for love they bite, or tear, Whilst wretched man is still in arms for fear.
For fear he arms, and is of arms afraid: From fear, to fear, successively betrayed.
Base fear, the source whence his best passions came.
His boasted honour, and his dear-bought fame.
The lust of power, to whom he's such a slave, And for the which alone he dares be brave; To which his various projects are designed, Which makes him generous, affable, and kind.
For which he takes such pains to be thought wise, And screws his actions, in a forced disguise; Leads a most tedious life in misery, Under laborious, mean hypocrisy.
Look to the bottom of his vast design, Wherein man's wisdom, power, and glory join: The good he acts.
the ill he does endure.
'Tis all from fear, to make himself secure.
Merely for safety after fame they thirst, For all men would be cowards if they durst.
And honesty's against all common sense, Men must be knaves, 'tis in their own defence.
Mankind's dishonest: if you think it fair Among known cheats to play upon the square, You'll be undone.
Nor can weak truth your reputation save, The knaves will all agree to call you knave.
Wronged shall he live, insulted o'er, oppressed, Who dares be less a villain than the rest.
Thus sir, you see what human nature craves, Most men are cowards, all men should be knaves; The difference lies, as far as I can see.
Not in the thing itself, but the degree; And all the subject matter of debate Is only, who's a knave of the first rate All this with indignation have I hurled At the pretending part of the proud world, Who, swollen with selfish vanity, devise, False freedoms, holy cheats, and formal lies, Over their fellow slaves to tyrannise.
But if in Court so just a man there be, (In Court, a just man - yet unknown to me) Who does his needful flattery direct Not to oppress and ruin, but protect: Since flattery, which way soever laid, Is still a tax: on that unhappy trade.
If so upright a statesman you can find, Whose passions bend to his unbiased mind, Who does his arts and policies apply To raise his country, not his family; Nor while his pride owned avarice withstands, Receives close bribes, from friends corrupted hands.
Is there a churchman who on God relies Whose life, his faith and doctrine justifies Not one blown up, with vain prelatic pride, Who for reproofs of sins does man deride; Whose envious heart makes preaching a pretence With his obstreperous, saucy eloquence, To chide at kings, and rail at men of sense; Who from his pulpit vents more peevlsh lies, More bitter railings, scandals, calumnies, Than at a gossiping are thrown about When the good wives get drunk, and then fall out.
None of that sensual tribe, whose talents lie In avarice, pride, sloth, and gluttony.
Who hunt good livings; but abhor good lives, Whose lust exalted, to that height arrives, They act adultery with their own wives.
And ere a score of years completed be, Can from the loftiest pulpit proudly see, Half a large parish their own progeny.
Nor doting bishop, who would be adored For domineering at the Council board; A greater fop, in business at fourscore, Fonder of serious toys, affected more, Than the gay, glittering fool at twenty proves, With all his noise, his tawdry clothes and loves.
But a meek, humble man, of honest sense, Who preaching peace does practise continence; Whose pious life's a proof he does believe Mysterious truths which no man can conceive.
If upon Earth there dwell such god-like men, I'll here recant my paradox to them, Adores those shrines of virtue, homage pay, And with the rabble world their laws obey.
If such there are, yet grant me this at least, Man differs more from man than man from beast.
Written by John Wilmot | Create an image from this poem

A Ramble in St. Jamess Park

 Much wine had passed, with grave discourse
Of who fucks who, and who does worse
(Such as you usually do hear
From those that diet at the Bear),
When I, who still take care to see
Drunkenness relieved by lechery,
Went out into St.
James's Park To cool my head and fire my heart.
But though St.
James has th' honor on 't, 'Tis consecrate to prick and cunt.
There, by a most incestuous birth, Strange woods spring from the teeming earth; For they relate how heretofore, When ancient Pict began to whore, Deluded of his assignation (Jilting, it seems, was then in fashion), Poor pensive lover, in this place Would frig upon his mother's face; Whence rows of mandrakes tall did rise Whose lewd tops fucked the very skies.
Each imitative branch does twine In some loved fold of Aretine, And nightly now beneath their shade Are buggeries, rapes, and incests made.
Unto this all-sin-sheltering grove Whores of the bulk and the alcove, Great ladies, chambermaids, and drudges, The ragpicker, and heiress trudges.
Carmen, divines, great lords, and tailors, Prentices, poets, pimps, and jailers, Footmen, fine fops do here arrive, And here promiscuously they swive.
Along these hallowed walks it was That I beheld Corinna pass.
Whoever had been by to see The proud disdain she cast on me Through charming eyes, he would have swore She dropped from heaven that very hour, Forsaking the divine abode In scorn of some despairing god.
But mark what creatures women are: How infinitely vile, when fair! Three knights o' the' elbow and the slur With wriggling tails made up to her.
The first was of your Whitehall baldes, Near kin t' th' Mother of the Maids; Graced by whose favor he was able To bring a friend t' th' Waiters' table, Where he had heard Sir Edward Sutton Say how the King loved Banstead mutton; Since when he'd ne'er be brought to eat By 's good will any other meat.
In this, as well as all the rest, He ventures to do like the best, But wanting common sense, th' ingredient In choosing well not least expedient, Converts abortive imitation To universal affectation.
Thus he not only eats and talks But feels and smells, sits down and walks, Nay looks, and lives, and loves by rote, In an old tawdry birthday coat.
The second was a Grays Inn wit, A great inhabiter of the pit, Where critic-like he sits and squints, Steals pocket handkerchiefs, and hints From 's neighbor, and the comedy, To court, and pay, his landlady.
The third, a lady's eldest son Within few years of twenty-one Who hopes from his propitious fate, Against he comes to his estate, By these two worthies to be made A most accomplished tearing blade.
One, in a strain 'twixt tune and nonsense, Cries, "Madam, I have loved you long since.
Permit me your fair hand to kiss"; When at her mouth her cunt cries, "Yes!" In short, without much more ado, Joyful and pleased, away she flew, And with these three confounded asses From park to hackney coach she passes.
So a proud bitch does lead about Of humble curs the amorous rout, Who most obsequiously do hunt The savory scent of salt-swoln cunt.
Some power more patient now relate The sense of this surprising fate.
Gods! that a thing admired by me Should fall to so much infamy.
Had she picked out, to rub her arse on, Some stiff-pricked clown or well-hung parson, Each job of whose spermatic sluice Had filled her cunt with wholesome juice, I the proceeding should have praised In hope sh' had quenched a fire I raised.
Such natural freedoms are but just: There's something generous in mere lust.
But to turn a damned abandoned jade When neither head nor tail persuade; To be a whore in understanding, A passive pot for fools to spend in! The devil played booty, sure, with thee To bring a blot on infamy.
But why am I, of all mankind, To so severe a fate designed? Ungrateful! Why this treachery To humble fond, believing me, Who gave you privilege above The nice allowances of love? Did ever I refuse to bear The meanest part your lust could spare? When your lewd cunt came spewing home Drenched with the seed of half the town, My dram of sperm was supped up after For the digestive surfeit water.
Full gorged at another time With a vast meal of slime Which your devouring cunt had drawn From porters' backs and footmen's brawn, I was content to serve you up My ballock-full for your grace cup, Nor ever thought it an abuse While you had pleasure for excuse - You that could make my heart away For noise and color, and betray The secrets of my tender hours To such knight-errant paramours, When, leaning on your faithless breast, Wrapped in security and rest, Soft kindness all my powers did move, And reason lay dissolved in love! May stinking vapors choke your womb Such as the men you dote upon May your depraved appetite, That could in whiffling fools delight, Beget such frenzies in your mind You may go mad for the north wind, And fixing all your hopes upon't To have him bluster in your cunt, Turn up your longing arse t' th' air And perish in a wild despair! But cowards shall forget to rant, Schoolboys to frig, old whores to paint; The Jesuits' fraternity Shall leave the use of buggery; Crab-louse, inspired with grace divine, From earthly cod to heaven shall climb; Physicians shall believe in Jesus, And disobedience cease to please us, Ere I desist with all my power To plague this woman and undo her.
But my revenge will best be timed When she is married that is limed.
In that most lamentable state I'll make her feel my scorn and hate: Pelt her with scandals, truth or lies, And her poor cur with jealousied, Till I have torn him from her breech, While she whines like a dog-drawn bitch; Loathed and despised, kicked out o' th' Town Into some dirty hole alone, To chew the cud of misery And know she owes it all to me.
And may no woman better thrive That dares prophane the cunt I swive!
Written by John Wilmot | Create an image from this poem

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.
Written by John Wilmot | Create an image from this poem

An Allusion to Horace

 Well Sir, 'tis granted, I said Dryden's Rhimes, 
Were stoln, unequal, nay dull many times: 
What foolish Patron, is there found of his, 
So blindly partial, to deny me this? 
But that his Plays, Embroider'd up and downe, 
With Witt, and Learning, justly pleas'd the Towne, 
In the same paper, I as freely owne: 
Yet haveing this allow'd, the heavy Masse, 
That stuffs up his loose Volumes must not passe: 
For by that Rule, I might as well admit, 
Crownes tedious Scenes, for Poetry, and Witt.
'Tis therefore not enough, when your false Sense Hits the false Judgment of an Audience Of Clapping-Fooles, assembling a vast Crowd 'Till the throng'd Play-House, crack with the dull Load; Tho' ev'n that Tallent, merrits in some sort, That can divert the Rabble and the Court: Which blundring Settle, never cou'd attaine, And puzling Otway, labours at in vaine.
But within due proportions, circumscribe What e're you write; that with a flowing Tyde, The Stile, may rise, yet in its rise forbeare, With uselesse Words, t'oppresse the wearyed Eare: Here be your Language lofty, there more light, Your Rethorick, with your Poetry, unite: For Elegance sake, sometimes alay the force Of Epethets; 'twill soften the discourse; A Jeast in Scorne, poynts out, and hits the thing, More home, than the Morosest Satyrs Sting.
Shakespeare, and Johnson, did herein excell, And might in this be Immitated well; Whom refin'd Etheridge, Coppys not at all, But is himself a Sheere Originall: Nor that Slow Drudge, in swift Pindarique straines, Flatman, who Cowley imitates with paines, And rides a Jaded Muse, whipt with loose Raines.
When Lee, makes temp'rate Scipio, fret and Rave, And Haniball, a whineing Am'rous Slave; I laugh, and wish the hot-brain'd Fustian Foole, In Busbys hands, to be well lasht at Schoole.
Of all our Moderne Witts, none seemes to me, Once to have toucht upon true Comedy, But hasty Shadwell, and slow Witcherley.
Shadwells unfinisht workes doe yet impart, Great proofes of force of Nature, none of Art.
With just bold Stroakes, he dashes here and there, Shewing great Mastery with little care; And scornes to varnish his good touches o're, To make the Fooles, and Women, praise 'em more.
But Witcherley, earnes hard, what e're he gaines, He wants noe Judgment, nor he spares noe paines; He frequently excells, and at the least, Makes fewer faults, than any of the best.
Waller, by Nature for the Bayes design'd, With force, and fire, and fancy unconfin'd, In Panigericks does Excell Mankind: He best can turne, enforce, and soften things, To praise great Conqu'rours, or to flatter Kings.
For poynted Satyrs, I wou'd Buckhurst choose, The best good Man, with the worst Natur'd Muse: For Songs, and Verses, Mannerly Obscene, That can stirr Nature up, by Springs unseene, And without forceing blushes, warme the Queene: Sidley, has that prevailing gentle Art, That can with a resistlesse Charme impart, The loosest wishes to the Chastest Heart, Raise such a Conflict, kindle such a ffire Betwixt declineing Virtue, and desire, Till the poor Vanquisht Maid, dissolves away, In Dreames all Night, in Sighs, and Teares, all Day.
Dryden, in vaine, try'd this nice way of Witt, For he, to be a tearing Blade thought fit, But when he wou'd be sharp, he still was blunt, To friske his frollique fancy, hed cry Cunt; Wou'd give the Ladyes, a dry Bawdy bob, And thus he got the name of Poet Squab: But to be just, twill to his praise be found, His Excellencies, more than faults abound.
Nor dare I from his Sacred Temples teare, That Lawrell, which he best deserves to weare.
But does not Dryden find ev'n Johnson dull? Fletcher, and Beaumont, uncorrect, and full Of Lewd lines as he calls em? Shakespeares Stile Stiffe, and Affected? To his owne the while Allowing all the justnesse that his Pride, Soe Arrogantly, had to these denyd? And may not I, have leave Impartially To search, and Censure, Drydens workes, and try, If those grosse faults, his Choyce Pen does Commit Proceed from want of Judgment, or of Witt.
Of if his lumpish fancy does refuse, Spirit, and grace to his loose slatterne Muse? Five Hundred Verses, ev'ry Morning writ, Proves you noe more a Poet, than a Witt.
Such scribling Authors, have beene seene before, Mustapha, the English Princesse, Forty more, Were things perhaps compos'd in Half an Houre.
To write what may securely stand the test Of being well read over Thrice oat least Compare each Phrase, examin ev'ry Line, Weigh ev'ry word, and ev'ry thought refine; Scorne all Applause the Vile Rout can bestow, And be content to please those few, who know.
Canst thou be such a vaine mistaken thing To wish thy Workes might make a Play-house ring, With the unthinking Laughter, and poor praise Of Fopps, and Ladys, factious for thy Plays? Then send a cunning Friend to learne thy doome, From the shrew'd Judges in the Drawing-Roome.
I've noe Ambition on that idle score, But say with Betty Morice, heretofore When a Court-Lady, call'd her Buckleys Whore, I please one Man of Witt, am proud on't too, Let all the Coxcombs, dance to bed to you.
Shou'd I be troubled when the Purblind Knight Who squints more in his Judgment, than his sight, Picks silly faults, and Censures what I write? Or when the poor-fed Poets of the Towne For Scrapps, and Coach roome cry my Verses downe? I loath the Rabble, 'tis enough for me, If Sidley, Shadwell, Shepherd, Witcherley, Godolphin, Buttler, Buckhurst, Buckingham, And some few more, whom I omit to name Approve my Sense, I count their Censure Fame.
Written by John Wilmot | Create an image from this poem

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 | Create an image from this poem

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 | Create an image from this poem

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 | Create an image from this poem

Tunbridge Wells

 At five this morn, when Phoebus raised his head
From Thetis' lap, I raised myself from bed,
And mounting steed, I trotted to the waters
The rendesvous of fools, buffoons, and praters,
Cuckolds, whores, citizens, their wives and daughters.
My squeamish stomach I with wine had bribed To undertake the dose that was prescribed; But turning head, a sudden curséd view That innocent provision overthrew, And without drinking, made me purge and spew.
From coach and six a thing unweildy rolled, Whose lumber, card more decently would hold.
As wise as calf it looked, as big as bully, But handled, proves a mere Sir Nicholas Cully; A bawling fop, a natural Nokes, and yet He dares to censure as if he had wit.
To make him more ridiculous, in spite Nature contrived the fool should be a knight.
Though he alone were dismal signet enough, His train contributed to set him off, All of his shape, all of the selfsame stuff.
No spleen or malice need on them be thrown: Nature has done the business of lampoon, And in their looks their characters has shown.
Endeavoring this irksome sight to balk, And a more irksome noise, their silly talk, I silently slunk down t' th' Lower Walk, But often when one would Charybdis shun, Down upon Scilla 'tis one's fate to run, For here it was my curséd luck to find As great a fop, though of another kind, A tall stiff fool that walked in Spanish guise: The buckram puppet never stirred its eyes, But grave as owl it looked, as woodcock wise.
He scorns the empty talking of this mad age, And speaks all proverbs, sentences, and adage; Can with as much solemnity buy eggs As a cabal can talk of their intrigues; Master o' th' Ceremonies, yet can dispense With the formality of talking sense.
From hence unto the upper walk I ran, Where a new scene of foppery began.
A tribe of curates, priests, canonical elves, Fit company for none besides themselves, Were got together.
Each his distemper told, Scurvy, stone, strangury; some were so bold To charge the spleen to be their misery, And on that wise disease brought infamy.
But none had modesty enough t' complain Their want of learning, honesty, and brain, The general diseases of that train.
These call themselves ambassadors of heaven, And saucily pretend commissions given; But should an Indian king, whose small command Seldom extends beyond ten miles of land, Send forth such wretched tools in an ambassage, He'd find but small effects of such a message.
Listening, I found the cob of all this rabble Pert Bays, with his importance comfortable.
He, being raised to an archdeaconry By trampling on religion, liberty, Was grown to great, and looked too fat and jolly, To be disturbed with care and melancholy, Though Marvell has enough exposed his folly.
He drank to carry off some old remains His lazy dull distemper left in 's veins.
Let him drink on, but 'tis not a whole flood Can give sufficient sweetness to his blood To make his nature of his manners good.
Next after these, a fulsome Irish crew Of silly Macs were offered to my view.
The things did talk, but th' hearing what they said I did myself the kindness to evade.
Nature has placed these wretches beneath scorn: They can't be called so vile as they are born.
Amidst the crowd next I myself conveyed, For now were come, whitewash and paint being laid, Mother and daughter, mistress and the maid, And squire with wig and pantaloon displayed.
But ne'er could conventicle, play, or fair For a true medley, with this herd compare.
Here lords, knights, squires, ladies and countesses, Chandlers, mum-bacon women, sempstresses Were mixed together, nor did they agree More in their humors than their quality.
Here waiting for gallant, young damsel stood, Leaning on cane, and muffled up in hood.
The would-be wit, whose business was to woo, With hat removed and solemn scrape of shoe Advanceth bowing, then genteelly shrugs, And ruffled foretop into order tugs, And thus accosts her: "Madam, methinks the weather Is grown much more serene since you came hither.
You influence the heavens; but should the sun Withdraw himself to see his rays outdone By your bright eyes, they would supply the morn, And make a day before the day be born.
" With mouth screwed up, conceited winking eyes, And breasts thrust forward, "Lord, sir!" she replies.
"It is your goodness, and not my deserts, Which makes you show this learning, wit, and parts.
" He, puzzled, butes his nail, both to display The sparkling ring, and think what next to say, And thus breaks forth afresh: "Madam, egad! Your luck at cards last night was very bad: At cribbage fifty-nine, and the next show To make the game, and yet to want those two.
God damn me, madam, I'm the son of a whore If in my life I saw the like before!" To peddler's stall he drags her, and her breast With hearts and such-like foolish toys he dressed; And then, more smartly to expound the riddle Of all his prattle, gives her a Scotch fiddle.
Tired with this dismal stuff, away I ran Where were two wives, with girl just fit for man - Short-breathed, with pallid lips and visage wan.
Some curtsies past, and the old compliment Of being glad to see each other, spent, With hand in hand they lovingly did walk, And one began thus to renew the talk: "I pray, good madam, if it may be thought No rudeness, what cause was it hither brought Your ladyship?" She soon replying, smiled, "We have a good estate, but have no child, And I'm informed these wells will make a barren Woman as fruitful as a cony warren.
" The first returned, "For this cause I am come, For I can have no quietness at home.
My husband grumbles though we have got one, This poor young girl, and mutters for a son.
And this is grieved with headache, pangs, and throes; Is full sixteen, and never yet had those.
" She soon replied, "Get her a husband, madam: I married at that age, and ne'er had 'em; Was just like her.
Steel waters let alone: A back of steel will bring 'em better down.
" And ten to one but they themselves will try The same means to increase their family.
Poor foolish fribble, who by subtlety Of midwife, truest friend to lechery, Persuaded art to be at pains and charge To give thy wife occasion to enlarge Thy silly head! For here walk Cuff and Kick, With brawny back and legs and potent prick, Who more substantially will cure thy wife, And on her half-dead womb bestow new life.
From these the waters got the reputation Of good assistants unto generation.
Some warlike men were now got into th' throng, With hair tied back, singing a bawdy song.
Not much afraid, I got a nearer view, And 'twas my chance to know the dreadful crew.
They were cadets, that seldom can appear: Damned to the stint of thirty pounds a year.
With hawk on fist, or greyhound led in hand, The dogs and footboys sometimes they command.
But now, having trimmed a cast-off spavined horse, With three hard-pinched-for guineas in their purse, Two rusty pistols, scarf about the arse, Coat lined with red, they here presume to swell: This goes for captain, that for colonel.
So the Bear Garden ape, on his steed mounted, No longer is a jackanapes accounted, But is, by virtue of his trumpery, then Called by the name of "the young gentleman.
" Bless me! thought I, what thing is man, that thus In all his shapes, he is ridiculous? Ourselves with noise of reason we do please In vain: humanity's our worst disease.
Thrice happy beasts are, who, because they be Of reason void, and so of foppery.
Faith, I was so ashamed that with remorse I used the insolence to mount my horse; For he, doing only things fit for his nature, Did seem to me by much the wiser creature.
Written by John Wilmot | Create an image from this poem

Constancy

 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.
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Signior Dildo

 You ladies of merry England
Who have been to kiss the Duchess's hand,
Pray, did you not lately observe in the show
A noble Italian called Signior Dildo?

This signior was one of the Duchess's train
And helped to conduct her over the main;
But now she cries out, 'To the Duke I will go,
I have no more need for Signior Dildo.
' At the Sign of the Cross in St James's Street, When next you go thither to make yourselves sweet By buying of powder, gloves, essence, or so, You may chance to get a sight of Signior Dildo.
You would take him at first for no person of note, Because he appears in a plain leather coat, But when you his virtuous abilities know, You'll fall down and worship Signior Dildo.
My Lady Southesk, heaven prosper her for't, First clothed him in satin, then brought him to court; But his head in the circle he scarcely durst show, So modest a youth was Signior Dildo.
The good Lady Suffolk, thinking no harm, Had got this poor stranger hid under her arm.
Lady Betty by chance came the secret to know And from her own mother stole Signior Dildo.
The Countess of Falmouth, of whom people tell Her footmen wear shirts of a guinea an ell, Might save that expense, if she did but know How lusty a swinger is Signior Dildo.
By the help of this gallant the Countess of Rafe Against the fierce Harris preserved herself safe; She stifled him almost beneath her pillow, So closely she embraced Signior Dildo.
The pattern of virtue, Her Grace of Cleveland, Has swallowed more pricks than the ocean has sand; But by rubbing and scrubbing so wide does it grow, It is fit for just nothing but Signior Dildo.
Our dainty fine duchesses have got a trick To dote on a fool for the sake of his prick, The fops were undone did their graces but know The discretion and vigour of Signior Dildo.
The Duchess of Modena, though she looks so high, With such a gallant is content to lie, And for fear that the English her secrets should know, For her gentleman usher took Signior Dildo.
The Countess o'th'Cockpit (who knows not her name? She's famous in story for a killing dame), When all her old lovers forsake her, I trow, She'll then be contented with Signior Dildo.
Red Howard, red Sheldon, and Temple so tall Complain of his absence so long from Whitehall.
Signior Barnard has promised a journey to go And bring back his countryman, Signior Dildo.
Doll Howard no longer with His Highness must range, And therefore is proferred this civil exchange: Her teeth being rotten, she smells best below, And needs must be fitted for Signior Dildo.
St Albans with wrinkles and smiles in his face, Whose kindness to strangers becomes his high place, In his coach and six horses is gone to Bergo To take the fresh air with Signior Dildo.
Were this signior but known to the citizen fops, He'd keep their fine wives from the foremen o'their shops; But the rascals deserve their horns should still grow For burning the Pope and his nephew, Dildo.
Tom Killigrew's wife, that Holland fine flower, At the sight of this signior did fart and belch sour, And her Dutch breeding the further to show, Says, 'Welcome to England, Mynheer Van Dildo.
' He civilly came to the Cockpit one night, And proferred his service to fair Madam Knight.
Quoth she, 'I intrigue with Captain Cazzo; Your nose in mine arse, good Signior Dildo.
' This signior is sound, safe, ready, and dumb As ever was candle, carrot, or thumb; Then away with these nasty devices, and show How you rate the just merit of Signior Dildo.
Count Cazzo, who carries his nose very high, In passion he swore his rival should die; Then shut himself up to let the world know Flesh and blood could not bear it from Signior Dildo.
A rabble of pricks who were welcome before, Now finding the porter denied them the door, Maliciously waited his coming below And inhumanly fell on Signior Dildo.
Nigh wearied out, the poor stranger did fly, And along the Pall Mall they followed full cry; The women concerned from every window Cried, 'For heaven's sake, save Signior Dildo.
' The good Lady Sandys burst into a laughter To see how the ballocks came wobbling after, And had not their weight retarded the foe, Indeed't had gone hard with Signior Dildo.
Written by John Wilmot | Create an image from this poem

The Imperfect Enjoyment

 Naked she lay, clasped in my longing arms,
I filled with love, and she all over charms;
Both equally inspired with eager fire,
Melting through kindness, flaming in desire.
With arms,legs,lips close clinging to embrace, She clips me to her breast, and sucks me to her face.
Her nimble tongue, Love's lesser lightening, played Within my mouth, and to my thoughts conveyed Swift orders that I should prepare to throw The all-dissolving thunderbolt below.
My fluttering soul, sprung with the painted kiss, Hangs hovering o'er her balmy brinks of bliss.
But whilst her busy hand would guide that part Which should convey my soul up to her heart, In liquid raptures I dissolve all o'er, Melt into sperm and, and spend at every pore.
A touch from any part of her had done't: Her hand, her foot, her very look's a cunt.
Smiling, she chides in a kind murmuring noise, And from her body wipes the clammy joys, When, with a thousand kisses wandering o'er My panting bosom, "Is there then no more?" She cries.
"All this to love and rapture's due; Must we not pay a debt to pleasure too?" But I, the most forlorn, lost man alive, To show my wished obedience vainly strive: I sigh, alas! and kiss, but cannot swive.
Eager desires confound my first intent, Succeeding shame does more success prevent, And rage at last confirms me impotent.
Ev'n her fair hand, which might bid heat return To frozen age, and make cold hermits burn, Applied to my dead cinder, warms no more Than fire to ashes could past flames restore.
Trembling, confused, despairing, limber, dry, A wishing, weak, unmoving lump I lie.
This dart of love, whose piercing point, oft tried, With virgin blood ten thousand maids have dyed; Which nature still directed with such art That it through every cunt reached every heart - Stiffly resolved, 'twould carelessly invade Woman or man, nor aught its fury stayed: Where'er it pierced, a cunt it found or made - Now languid lies in this unhappy hour, Shrunk up and sapless like a withered flower.
Thou treacherous, base deserter of my flame, False to my passion, fatal to my fame, Through what mistaken magic dost thou prove So true to lewdness, so untrue to love? What oyster-cinder-beggar-common whore Didst thou e'er fail in all thy life before? When vice, disease, and scandal lead the way, With what officious haste dost thou obey! Like a rude, roaring hector in the streets Who scuffles, cuffs, and justles all he meets, But if his king or country claim his aid, The rakehell villain shrinks and hides his head; Ev'n so thy brutal valour is displayed, Breaks every stew, does each small whore invade, But when great Love the onset does command, Base recreant to thy prince, thou dar'st not stand.
Worst part of me, and henceforth hated most, Through all the town a common fucking-post, On whom each whore relieves her tingling cunt As hogs do rub themselves on gates and grunt, May'st thou to ravenous chancres be a prey, Or in consuming weepings waste away; May strangury and stone thy days attend; May'st thou ne'er piss, who did refuse to spend When all my joys did on false thee depend.
And may ten thousand abler pricks agree To do the wronged Corinna right for thee.
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All My Past Life..

 All my past life is mine no more,
The flying hours are gone,
Like transitory dreams given o'er,
Whose images are kept in store
By memory alone.
What ever is to come is not, How can it then be mine? The present moment's all my lot, And that as fast as it is got, Phyllis, is wholly thine.
Then talk not of inconstancy, False hearts, and broken vows, Ii, by miracle, can be, This live-long minute true to thee, 'Tis all that heaven allows.
Written by John Wilmot | Create an image from this poem

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.
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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 | Create an image from this poem

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.