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A Cruel Mistress

 We read of kings and gods that kindly took 
A pitcher fill'd with water from the brook ; 
But I have daily tender'd without thanks 
Rivers of tears that overflow their banks.
A slaughter'd bull will appease angry Jove, A horse the Sun, a lamb the god of love, But she disdains the spotless sacrifice Of a pure heart, that at her altar lies.
Vesta is not displeased, if her chaste urn Do with repaired fuel ever burn ; But my saint frowns, though to her honour'd name I consecrate a never-dying flame.
Th' Assyrian king did none i' th' furnace throw But those that to his image did not bow ; With bended knees I daily worship her, Yet she consumes her own idolater.
Of such a goddess no times leave record, That burnt the temple where she was adored.

Poem by Thomas Carew
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