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Poem by John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester


The Advice


ALL Things submit themselves to your Command,
Fair Cælia, when it does not Love withstand:
The Pow'r it borrows from your Eyes alone;
All but the God must yield to, who has none.
Were he not blind, such are the Charms you have,
He'd quit his Godhead to become your Slave:
Be proud to act a Mortal Hero's Part,
And throw himself for Fame on his own Dart.
But Fate has otherwise dispos'd of things,
In diff'rent Bands subjected Slaves, and Kings:
Fetter'd in Forms of Royal State are they,
While we enjoy the Freedom to obey.
That Fate like you resistless does ordain
To Love, that over Beauty he shall Reign.
By Harmony the Universe does move,
And what is Harmony but mutual Love?
Who would resist an Empire so Divine,
Which Universal Nature does enjoin?
See gentle Brooks, how quietly they glide,
Kissing the rugged Banks on either side.
While in their Crystal Streams at once they show,
And with them feed the Flow'rs which they bestow:
Tho' rudely throng'd by a too near Embrace,
In gentle Murmurs they keep on their Pace
To the lov'd Sea; for Streams have their Desires;
Cool as they are, they feel Love's pow'rful Fires;
And with such Passion, that if any Force
Stop or molest them in their am'rous Course;
They swell, break down with Rage, and ravage o'er
The Banks they kiss'd, and Flow'rs they fed before.
Submit then, Cælia, ere you be reduc'd;
For Rebels, vanquish'd once, are vilely us'd.
Beauty's no more but the dead Soil, which Love
Manures, and does by wise Commerce improve:
Sailing by Sighs, through Seas of Tears, he sends
Courtships from foreign Hearts, for your own Ends:
Cherish the Trade, for as with Indians we
Get Gold, and Jewels, for our Trumpery:
So to each other, for their useless Toys,
Lovers afford whole Magazines of Joys.
But if you're fond of Baubles, be, and starve,
Your Guegaw Reputation still preserve:
Live upon Modesty and empty Fame,
Foregoing Sense for a fantastick Name.



                      John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester


John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester's other poems:
  1. The Imperfect Enjoyment
  2. A Song (Phillis, be gentler, I advise)
  3. Grecian Kindness
  4. On the Women about Town
  5. Epistle


Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Thomas Chatterton The Advice ("Revolving in their destin'd sphere")
  • Walter Raleigh The Advice ("MANY desire, but few or none deserve ")
  • Charles Sackville The Advice ("Phyllis, for shame! let us improve")

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