[Page 318]


Video meliora proboque,
Deteriora sequor.
1 AN open heart, a generous mind,
2 But passion's slave, and wild as wind:
[Page 319]
3 In theory, a judge of right;
4 Tho' banish'd from its practice quite:
5 So loose, so prostitute of soul,
6 His nobler wit becomes the tool
7 Of every importuning fool:
8 A thousand virtues misapply'd;
9 While reason floats on passion's tide:
10 The ruin of the chaste and fair;
11 The parent's curse, the virgin's snare:
12 Whose false example leads astray
13 The young, the thoughtless, and the gay:
14 Yet, left alone to cooler thought,
15 He knows, he sees, he feels his fault;
16 He knows his fault, he feels, he views,
17 Detesting what he most pursues:
18 His judgment tells him, all his gains
19 For fleeting joys, are lasting pains:
20 Reason with appetite contending,
21 Repenting still, and still offending:
22 Abuser of the gifts of nature,
23 A wretched, self-condemning creature,
24 He passes o'er life's ill-trod stage;
25 And dies, in youth, the prey of age!
26 The scorn, the pity of the wise,
27 Who love, lament him and despise!


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): The RAKE.
Author: Anonymous
Themes: reason; sex; relations between the sexes
References: DMI 26705

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Source edition

Dodsley, Robert, 1703-1764. A Collection of Poems in Six Volumes. By Several Hands. Vol. IV. London: printed by J. Hughs, for R. and J. Dodsley, 1763 [1st ed. 1758], pp. 318-319. 6v.: music; 8⁰. (ESTC T131163; OTA K104099.004) (Page images digitized by the Eighteenth-Century Poetry Archive from a copy in the archive's library.)

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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.