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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.

Poem by John Wilmot
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