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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.


by John Wilmot |

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.


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.


by John Wilmot |

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.


by John Wilmot |

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.


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.


by John Wilmot |

By All Loves Soft Yet Mighty Powers

 By all love's soft, yet mighty powers,
It is a thing unfit,
That men should fuck in time of flowers,
Or when the smock's beshit.

Fair nasty nymph, be clean and kind,
And all my joys restore;
By using paper still behind,
And sponges for before.

My spotless flames can ne'er decay,
If after every close,
My smoking prick escape the fray,
Without a bloody nose.

If thou would have me true, be wise,
And take to cleanly sinning,
None but fresh lovers' pricks can rise,
At Phyllis in foul linen.


by John Wilmot |

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.


by John Wilmot |

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.


by John Wilmot |

Love and Life

 All my past life is mine no more, 
The flying hours are gone,
Like transitory dreams giv'n o'er,
Whose images are kept in store
By memory alone.

The time that 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 only thine.

Then talk not of inconstancy,
False hearts, and broken vows;
If I, by miracle, can be
This live-long minute true to thee,
'Tis all that Heav'n allows.