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Seventeenth Century

Eighteenth Century



Sir Peter Lely. Flagmen of Lowestoft: Admiral Sir John Harman, 1666.
Sir Peter Lely. Sir John Harman, 1666.

In Imitation of  Horace.

What mean those Amorous Curles of Jet?
      For what heart-Ravisht Maid
Dost thou thy Hair in order set,
      Thy Wanton Tresses Braid?
And thy vast Store of Beauties open lay,
That the deluded Fancy leads astray.

For pitty hide thy Starry eyes,
      Whose Languishments destroy:
And look not on the Slave that dyes
      With an Excess of Joy.
Defend thy Coral Lips, thy Amber Breath;
To taste these Sweets lets in a Certain Death.

Forbear, fond Charming Youth, forbear,
      Thy words of Melting Love:
Thy Eyes thy Language well may spare,
      One Dart enough can move.
And she that hears thy voice and sees thy Eyes
With too much Pleasure, too much Softness dies.

Cease, Cease, with Sighs to warm my Soul,
      Or press me with thy Hand:
Who can the kindling fire controul,
      The tender force withstand?
Thy Sighs and Touches like wing'd Lightning fly,
And are the Gods of Loves Artillery.

The Works of Aphra Behn. Vol. VI. Montague Summers, Ed.
London: William Heinemann, 1915. 195-196.

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