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MONTAGU, Mary WORTLEY


The Lover
…..
But when the long hours of public are past,

And we meet with champagne and a chicken at last,

May every fond pleasure that moment endear;

Be banish’d afar both discretion and fear!

Forgetting or scorning the airs of the crowd,

He may cease to be formal, and I to be proud,

Till lost in the joy, we confess that we live,

And he may be rude, and yet I may forgive.

And that my delight may be solidly fix’d,

Let the friend and the lover be handsomely mix’d;

In whose tender bosom my soul may confide,

Whose kindness can soothe me, whose counsel can guide.

From such a dear lover as I here describe,

No danger should fright me, no millions should bribe;

But till this astonishing creature I know,

As I long have liv’d chaste, I will keep myself so.

I never will share with the wanton coquette,

Or be caught by a vain affectation of wit.

The toasters and songsters may try all their art,

But never shall enter the pass of my heart.

I loathe the lewd rake, the dress’d fopling despise:

Before such pursuers the nice virgin flies;

And as Ovid has sweetly in parable told,

We harden like trees, and like rivers grow cold.