[Page 9]


1 While blooming Youth, and gay Delight
2 Sit on thy rosey Cheeks confest;
3 Thou hast, my Dear, undoubted Right
4 To triumph o'er this destin'd Breast.
5 My Reason bends to what thy Eyes ordain;
6 For I was born to Love, and Thou to Reign.
7 But would You meanly thus rely
8 On Power, You know I must Obey?
9 Exert a Legal Tyranny,
10 And do an Ill; because You may?
11 Still must I Thee, as Atheists Heav'n adore;
12 Not see thy Mercy, and yet dread thy Power?
13 Take Heed, my Dear: Youth flies apace:
14 As well as Cupid, Time is blind:
15 Soon must those Glories of thy Face
16 The Fate of vulgar Beauty find:
17 The Thousand Loves, that arm thy potent Eye,
18 Must drop their Quivers, flag their Wings, and die.
19 Then wilt Thou sigh; when in each Frown
20 A hateful Wrinkle more appears;
21 And putting peevish Humours on,
22 Seems but the sad Effect of Years:
23 Kindness it self too weak a Charm will prove,
24 To raise the feeble Fires of aged Love.
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25 Forc'd Compliments, and formal Bows
26 Will show Thee just above Neglect:
27 The Heat, with which thy Lover glows,
28 Will settle into cold Respect:
29 A talking dull Platonic I shall turn;
30 Learn to be civil, when I cease to burn.
31 Then shun the Ill, and know, my Dear,
32 Kindness and Constancy will prove
33 The only Pillars fit to bear
34 So vast a Weight as that of Love.
35 If Thou can'st wish to make My Flames endure;
36 Thine must be very fierce, and very pure.
37 Haste, Celia, haste, while Youth invites;
38 Obey kind Cupid's present Voice;
39 Fill ev'ry Sense with soft Delights,
40 And give thy Soul a Loose to Joys:
41 Let Millions of repeated Blisses prove,
42 That Thou all Kindness art, and I all Love.
43 Be Mine, and only Mine: take care
44 Thy Looks, thy Thoughts, thy Dreams to guide
45 To Me alone; nor come so far,
46 As liking any Youth beside:
47 What Men e'er court Thee, fly 'em, and believe,
48 They're Serpents all, and Thou the tempted Eve.
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49 So shall I court thy dearest Truth;
50 When Beauty ceases to engage:
51 So thinking on thy charming Youth,
52 I'll love it o'er again in Age:
53 So Time it self our Raptures shall improve;
54 While still We wake to Joy, and live to Love.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): An ODE.
Author: Matthew Prior
Genres: ode

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Source edition

Prior, Matthew, 1664-1721. Poems on Several Occasions [English poems only]. London: Printed for JACOB TONSON at Shakespear's-Head over against Katharine-Street in the Strand, and JOHN BARBER upon Lambeth-Hill. MDCCXVIII., 1718, pp. 9-11. [42],506,[6]p.: ill.; 2°. (ESTC T075639) (Page images digitized from a copy in the Bodleian Library [H 6.8 Art.].)

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Typography, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been cautiously modernized. The source of the text is given and all significant editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. 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.

Other works by Matthew Prior