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Seventeenth Century

Eighteenth Century



Earl of Rochester

Correggio. Allegory of Virtue, c1530.
Correggio. Allegory of Virtue, c1530.

A  S O N G.

To this Moment a Rebel, I throw down my Arms,
Great Love, at first sight of Olinda's bright charms:
Made proud, and secure, by such Forces as these,
You may now play the Tyrant as soon as you please.

When Innocence, Beauty, and Wit do conspire
To betray, and engage, and inflame my Desire;
Why should I decline what I cannot avoid,
And let pleasing Hope by base Fear be destroy'd?

Her Innocence cannot contrive to undo me,
Her Beauty's inclin'd, or why should it pursue me?
And Wit has to Pleasure been ever a Friend;
Then what room for Despair, since Delight is Love's End?

There can be no Danger in Sweetness and Youth,
Where Love is secur'd by Good-nature and Truth:
On her Beauty I'll gaze, and of Pleasure complain;
While ev'ry kind Look adds a Link to my Chain.

'Tis more to maintain, than it was to surprize;
But her Wit leads in Triumph the Slave of her Eyes:
I beheld, with the Loss of my Freedom before,
But hearing, for ever must serve and adore.

Too bright is my Goddess, her Temple too weak:
Retire, Divine Image! I feel my Heart break.
Help, Love, I dissolve in a Rapture of Charms;
At the Thought of those Joys I should meet in her Arms.

Rochester, John Wilmot, Earl of. The Works of John Earl of Rochester.
London: Jacob Tonson, 1714. 24-5.


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Restoration & 18th-century:

Samuel Butler
John Dryden
Samuel Pepys
John Bunyan
Aphra Behn
John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester
Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea
Mary Astell
William Congreve
Matthew Prior
Daniel Defoe
John Gay
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
Jonathan Swift
Joseph Addison
Sir Richard Steele
James Thomson
Alexander Pope
Dr. Samuel Johnson
Thomas Gray
William Collins
Christopher Smart
Oliver Goldsmith
George Crabbe
William Cowper
James Boswell
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