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

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Seventeenth Century

Eighteenth Century



Gerard ter Borch. Woman Playing the Theorbo to a Cavalier, c1658.
Gerard ter Borch. Woman Playing the Theorbo, c1658.


from The Lucky Chance, 1687.

O Love ! that stronger art than wine,
Pleasing delusion, witchery divine,
Wont to be priz'd above all wealth,
Disease that has more joys than health;
Tho' we blaspheme thee in our pain,
And of thy tyranny complain,
We all are better'd by thy reign.

What reason never can bestow,
We to this useful passion owe.
Love wakes the dull from sluggish ease,
And learns a clown the art to please;
Humbles the vain, kindles the cold,
Makes misers free, and cowards bold.
'Tis he reforms the sot from drink,
And teaches airy fops to think.

When full brute appetite is fed,
And chok'd the glutton lies, and dead;
Thou new spirits dost dispense,
And 'fin'st the gross delights of sense.
Virtue's unconquerable aid,
That against nature can persuade,
And makes a roving mind retire
Within the bounds of just desire;
Cheerer of age, youth's kind unrest,
And half the heaven of the blest.

Restoration Verse, 1660-1715. William Kerr, ed.
London: Macmillan, 1930. 160.

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