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OR mighty wars I thought to tune my lute,
And make my measures to my fubject fuit.
Six feet for ev'ry verfe the Mufe defign'd:
But Cupid, laughing, when he faw my mind,
From ev'ry fecond verfe a foot purloin'd.
Who gave thee, boy, this arbitrary faw,'
On fubjects, not thy own, commands to lay,
Who Phœbus only and his laws obey?
'Tis more abfurd than if the Queen of Love
Should in Minerva's arms to battle move;
Or manly Pallas from that queen fhould take
Her torch, and o'er the dying lover shake.
In fields as well may Cynthia fow the corn,
Or Ceres wind in woods the bugle-horn.
As well may Phoebus quit the trembling ftring, For fword and fhield; and Mars may learn to fing. Already thy dominions are too large;
Be not ambitious of a foreign charge.
If thou wilt reign o'er all, and ev'ry where,
The God of Mufic for his harp may fear.
Thus when with foaring wings I seek renown,
Thou pluck'st my pinions, and I flutter down.
Could I on fuch mean thoughts my Mufe employ,
I want a mistress or a blooming boy.
Thus I complain'd: his bow the ftripling bent,
And chose an arrow fit for his intent.
The shaft his purpose fatally pursues ;
Now, poet, there's a fubject for thy Muse.
He faid: too well, alas, he knows his trade;
For in my breaft a mortal wound he made.
(Far hence, ye proud hexameters, remove)
My verse is pac'd and trammel'd into love.
With myrtle wreaths my thoughtful brows inclose,
While in unequal verfe I fing my woes.
To his mistress, whofe husband is invited to a feaft with them. The poet inftructs her how to behave berfelf in his company.
OUR husband will be with us at the treat;
May that be the laft fupper he fhall eat.
And am poor I a guest invited there,
Only to fee, while he may touch the fair?
To see you kiss and hug your naufeous lord,
While his leud hand defcends below the board?
Now wonder not that Hippodamia's charms,
At fuch a fight, the Centaurs urg'd to arms;
That in a rage they threw their
Affail'd the bridegroom, and would force the bride.
I am not half a horfe, (I would I were)
Yet hardly can from you my hands forbear.
Take then my counfel; which, obferv'd, may be
Of fome importance both to you and me.
Be fure to come before your man be there;
There's nothing can be done; but come howe'er.
Sit next him (that belongs to decency)
But tread upon my foot in paffing by.
my looks what filently they speak,
And flily, with your eyes, your anfwer make:
My lifted eye-brow shall declare my pain;
My right-hand to his fellow fhall complain;
And on the back a letter thall defign;
Befides a note that shall be writ in wine.
Whene'er you think upon our last embrace,
With your fore-finger gently touch your
If any word of mine offend my dear,
Pull, with your hand, the velvet of your ear.
If you are pleas'd with what I do or fay,
Handle your rings, or with your fingers play.
As fuppliants ufe at altars, hold the board,
Whene'er you with the devil may take your lord.
When he fills for you, never touch the cup,
But bid th' officious cuckold drink it up.
The waiter on thofe fervices employ:
Drink you, and I will snatch it from the boy;
Watching the part
part where your fweet mouth hath
And thence with eager lips will fuck it in.
If he, with clownish manners, thinks it fit
To tafte, and offer you the nafty bit,
Reject his greafy kindness, and restore
Th' unfav'ry morfel he had chew'd before.
Nor let his arms embrace your neck, nor reft.
Your tender cheek upon his hairy breast.
Let not his hand within your bosom stray,
And rudely with your pretty bubbies play.
But above all, let him no kiss receive;
That's an offence I never can forgive.
Do not, O do not that sweet mouth refign,
Left I rise up in arms, and cry, 'tis mine.
I fhall thruft in betwixt, and void of fear
The manifeft adult'rer will appear.
These things are plain to fight; but more I doubt
What you conceal beneath your petticoat.
Take not his leg between your tender thighs,
Nor, with your hand, provoke my foe to rife.
How many love-inventions I deplore,
Which I myself have practis'd all before?
How oft have I been forc'd the robe to lift
In company; to make a homely shift
For a bare bout, ill huddled o'er in haste,
While o'er my fide the fair her mantle caft.
You to your husband shall not be fo kind;
But, left you should, your mantle leave behind.