John Wilmot

(1 April 1647 – 26 July 1680 / Oxfordshire, England)

A Dialogue Between Strephon And Daphne. - Poem by John Wilmot

Stre: Prethy now fond foole give o're;
Since my heart is gon before
To what purpose should I stay?
Love Commands another Way.

Daph: Perjurd swaine I knew the time 5
When dissembling was your Crime:
In pitty now Imploy that art
Which first betrai'd to ease my heart.

Stre: Women can with pleasure faine;
Men disemble still with paine. 10
What Advantage will it prove
If I Lye who cannot Love?

Daph: Tell me then the reason why,
Love from hearts in Love does fly;
Why the Bird will build a Nest 15
Where he ne're intends to rest.

Stre: Love Like other Little boyes
Cryes for hearts as they for toyes
Which when gained in Childish play
Wantonly are throwne away. 20

Daph: Still on Wing or on his knee's
Love does nothing by degrees;
Basely flying when most priz'd,
Meanly fawning when despis'd,

Flatt'ring or Insulting Ever, 25
Generous and gratefull never;
All his Joyes are Fleeting dreames,
All his Woes severe Extreames.

Stre: Nymph unjustly you enveigh:
Love Like us must fate obey. 30
Since tis Natures Law to Change,
Constancy alone is strange.

See the Heav'ns in Lightnings breake,
Next in stormes of Thunder speake
Till a kinde Raine from above 35
Makes a Calme, soe tis in Love.

Flames begin our first addresse:
Like meeting Thunder wee embrace.
Then you know the showers that fall
Quench the fire and quiet all. 40

Daph: How should I these showers forget?
T'was soe pleasant to be Wett.
They kil'd Love I know it well:
I dy'd all the while they fell.

Say at Leastt what Nimph it is 45
Robs my brest of soe much bliss.
If she is faire I shall be easd:
Through my Ruine, you'l be pleas'd.

Stre: Daphne never was soe faire,
Strephon scarcely soe Sincere, 50
Gentle, Innocent and free,
Ever pleasd with only mee.

Many Charmes my heart enthrall
But there's one above 'em all:
With avertion she does fly 55
Tedious Trading constancy.

Daph: Cruell sheppard I submit:
Doe what Love and you thinke fitt.
Change is Fate and not designe—
Say you would have still bin mine. 60
Stre: Nymph I can not: tis too true
Change has greater Charmes than you.
Be by my Example Wise:
Faith to pleasure sacrifice.

Daph: Silly swaine I'le have you know 65
T'was my practice Long agoe:
Whilst you Vainely thought me true
I was falce in scorn of you.

By my teares my hearts disguise
I thy Love and thee despise. 70
Woman kinde more Joy discovers
Making Fooles then keeping Lovers.


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Poem Submitted: Friday, June 1, 2012



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