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Earl of Rochester

Pieter de Hooch. Woman with a Water Pitcher, and a Man by a Bed, 1667-70.

By All Love's Soft, Yet Mighty Powers.

By all love's soft, yet mighty powers,
It is a thing unfit,
That men should fuck in time of flowers,
Or when the smock's beshit.

Fair nasty nymph, be clean and kind,
And all my joys restore;
By using paper still behind,
And sponges for before.

My spotless flames can ne'er decay,
If after every close,
My smoking prick escape the fray,
Without a bloody nose.

If thou would have me true, be wise,
And take to cleanly sinning,
None but fresh lovers' pricks can rise,
At Phyllis in foul linen.

The Complete Poems of the Earl of Rochester. David M. Vieth, ed.
New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002. 45.


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