Gallants, a bashful poet bids me say,
He's come to lose his maidenhead to-day.
Be not too fierce; for he's but green of age,
And ne'er, till now, debauched upon the stage.
He wants the suffering part of resolution,
And comes with blushes to his execution.
Ere you deflower his Muse, he hopes the pit
Will make some settlement upon his wit.
Promise him well, before the play begin;
For he would fain be cozened into sin.
'Tis not but that he knows you mean to fail;
But, if you leave him after being frail,
He'll have, at least, a fair pretence to rail;
To call you base, and swear you used him ill,
And put you in the new Deserters' Bill.
Lord, what a troop of perjured men we see;
Enow to fill another Mercury!
But this the ladies may with patience brook;
Theirs are not the first colours you forsook.
He would be loath the beauties to offend;
But, if he should, he's not too old to mend.
He's a young plant, in his first year of bearing;
But his friend swears, he will be worth the rearing.
His gloss is still upon him; though 'tis true
He's yet unripe, yet take him for the blue.
You think an apricot half green is best;
There's sweet and sour, and one side good at least.
Mangos and limes, whose nourishment is little,
Though not for food, are yet preserved for pickle,
So this green writer may pretend, at least,
To whet your stomachs for a better feast.
He makes this difference in the sexes too;
He sells to men, he gives himself to you.
To both he would contribute some delight;
A mere poetical hermaphrodite.
Thus he's equipped, both to be wooed, and woo;
With arms offensive, and defensive too;
'Tis hard, he thinks, if neither part will do.
John Dryden's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (A Prologue by John Dryden )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
Louisa May Alcott
(29 November 1832 – 6 March 1888)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(22 March 1941 -)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
(16 March 1892 – 15 April 1938)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
Edna St. Vincent Millay
(22 February 1892 – 19 October 1950)
- Los heraldos negros, Cesar Vallejo
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Taking Off Emily Dickinson's Clothes, Billy Collins
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Another Reason Why I Don't Keep A Gun In.., Billy Collins
- Forgetfulness, Billy Collins
- On Turning Ten, Billy Collins
Poem of the Day
- My life, Mario,Lucien,Rene Odekerken
- Don't leave me cozied-up homely, Mark Heathcote
- If You Were Here Today, Serena Blackinton
- Uncle Trevor's Solution, rohan bendre
- Trapped Inside, Pamela Carroll
- Two Green Points: Art Print by Wassily K.., Frank Avon
- Winter Twilight Haiku, Chenou Liu
- The Season of His Birth, Frank Avon
- The Man Who Cut His Left Leg, Sergi Dutronc
- Back agin, Rodney R. Cooper