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Best Famous Matthew Prior Poems

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

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by Matthew Prior | |

The Merchant To Secure His Treasure

 The merchant, to secure his treasure,
Conveys it in a borrowed name:
Euphelia serves to grace my measure,
But Cloe is my real flame.
My softest verse, my darling lyre Upon Euphelia's toilet lay— When Cloe noted her desire That I should sing, that I should play.
My lyre I tune, my voice I raise, But with my numbers mix my sighs; And whilst I sing Euphelia's praise, I fix my soul on Cloe's eyes.
Fair Cloe blushed; Euphelia frowned: I sung, and gazed; I played, and trembled: And Venus to the Loves around Remarked how ill we all dissembled.


by Matthew Prior | |

Phylliss Age

 How old may Phyllis be, you ask, 
Whose beauty thus all hearts engages? 
To answer is no easy task; 
For she has really two ages.
Stiff in brocard, and pinch'd in stays, Her patches, paint, and jewels on; All day let envy view her face; And Phyllis is but twenty-one.
Paint, patches, jewels laid aside, At night astronomers agree, The evening has the day belied; And Phyllis is some forty-three


by Matthew Prior | |

An Ode

 The merchant, to secure his treasure, 
Conveys it in a borrowed name: 
Euphelia serves to grace my measure; 
But Cloe is my real flame.
My softest verse, my darling lyre Upon Euphelia's toilet lay; When Cloe noted her desire, That I should sing, that I should play.
My lyre I tune, my voice I raise; But with my numbers mix my sighs: And whilst I sing Euphelia's praise, I fix my soul on Cloe's eyes.
Fair Cloe blushed: Euphelia frowned: I sung and gazed: I played and trembled: And Venus to the Loves around Remarked, how ill we all dissembled.


by Matthew Prior | |

The Lady who offers her Looking-Glass to Venus

 VENUS, take my votive glass: 
Since I am not what I was, 
What from this day I shall be, 
Venus, let me never see.


by Matthew Prior | |

A Letter to Lady Margaret Cavendish Holles-Harley when a Child

 MY noble, lovely, little Peggy, 
Let this my First Epistle beg ye, 
At dawn of morn, and close of even, 
To lift your heart and hands to Heaven.
In double duty say your prayer: Our Father first, then Notre Pere.
And, dearest child, along the day, In every thing you do and say, Obey and please my lord and lady, So God shall love and angels aid ye.
If to these precepts you attend, No second letter need I send, And so I rest your constant friend.


by Matthew Prior | |

A Simile

 Dear Thomas, didst thou never pop
Thy head into a tin-man's shop?
There, Thomas, didst thou never see
('Tis but by way of simile)
A squirrel spend his little rage
In jumping round a rolling cage?
The cage, as either side turn'd up,
Striking a ring of bells a-top?--

Mov'd in the orb, pleas'd with the chimes,
The foolish creature thinks he climbs:
But here or there, turn wood or wire,
He never gets two inches higher.
So fares it with those merry blades, That frisk it under Pindus' shades.
In noble songs, and lofty odes, They tread on stars, and talk with gods; Still dancing in an airy round, Still pleas'd with their own verses' sound; Brought back, how fast soe'er they go, Always aspiring, always low.


by Matthew Prior | |

A Reasonable Affliction

 On his death-bed poor Lubin lies: 
His spouse is in despair: 
With frequent sobs, and mutual cries, 
They both express their care.
A different cause, says Parson Sly, The same effect may give: Poor Lubin fears that he may die; His wife, that he may live.


by Matthew Prior | |

On My Birthday July 21

 I, MY dear, was born to-day-- 
So all my jolly comrades say: 
They bring me music, wreaths, and mirth, 
And ask to celebrate my birth: 
Little, alas! my comrades know 
That I was born to pain and woe; 
To thy denial, to thy scorn, 
Better I had ne'er been born: 
I wish to die, even whilst I say-- 
'I, my dear, was born to-day.
' I, my dear, was born to-day: Shall I salute the rising ray, Well-spring of all my joy and woe? Clotilda, thou alone dost know.
Shall the wreath surround my hair? Or shall the music please my ear? Shall I my comrades' mirth receive, And bless my birth, and wish to live? Then let me see great Venus chase Imperious anger from thy face; Then let me hear thee smiling say-- 'Thou, my dear, wert born to-day.
'


by Matthew Prior | |

A True Maid

 No, no; for my virginity,
When I lose that, says Rose, I'll die:
Behind the elms last night, cried Dick,
Rose, were you not extremely sick?


by Matthew Prior | |

Cupid Mistaken

 As after noon, one summer's day, 
Venus stood bathing in a river; 
Cupid a-shooting went that way, 
New strung his bow, new fill'd his quiver.
With skill he chose his sharpest dart: With all his might his bow he drew: Swift to his beauteous parent's heart The too well-guided arrow flew.
I faint! I die! the Goddess cry'd: O cruel, could'st thou find none other, To wreck thy spleen on? Parricide! Like Nero, thou hast slain thy mother.
Poor Cupid sobbing scarce could speak; Indeed, Mamma, I did not know ye: Alas! how easy my mistake? I took you for your likeness, Cloe.