Luminarium: Anthology of English Literature Rose of King Charles II Aphra Behn

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Seventeenth Century

Eighteenth Century



Sir Peter Lely. Portrait of a Lady, late 1650s.
Sir Peter Lely. Portrait of a Lady, late 1650s.

The Counsel.  A Song.

Set by Captain Pack.

A Pox upon this needless Scorn:
Sylvia, for shame the Cheat give o'er:
The End to which the Fair are born,
Is not to keep their Charms in store:
But lavishly dispose in haste
Of Joys which none but Youth improve;
Joys which decay when Beauty's past;
And who, when Beauty's past, will love?

When Age those Glories shall deface,
Revenging all your cold Disdain;
And Sylvia shall neglected pass,
By every once-admiring Swain;
And we no more shall Homage pay:
When you in vain too late shall burn,
If Love increase, and Youth decay,
Ah Sylvia!  who will make Return?

Then haste, my Sylvia, to the Grove,
Where all the Sweets of May conspire
To teach us ev'ry Art of Love,
And raise our Joys of Pleasure higher:
Where while embracing we shall lie
Loosly in Shades on Beds of Flow'rs,
The duller World while we defie,
Years will be Minutes, Ages Hours.

The Works of Aphra Behn. Vol. VI. Montague Summers, Ed.
London: William Heinemann, 1915. 190-191.

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