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Poem by John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester

On the Women about Town

Too long the wise Commons have been in debate
About money and conscience, those trifles of state,
Whilst dangerous grievances daily increase,
And the subject can't riot in safety and peace;
Unless, as against Irish cattle before,
You now make an act to forbid Irish whore.

The coots black and white, Clanbrassill and Fox,
Invade us with impudence, beauty, and pox.
They carry a fate which no man can oppose:
The loss of his heart and the fall of his nose.
Should he dully resist, yet would each take upon her
To beseech him to do 't, and engage him in honor.

O ye merciful powers who of mortals take care,
Make the women more modest, more sound, or less fair!
Is it just that with death cruel love should conspire,
And our tarses be burnt by our hearts taking fire?
There's an end of communion if humble believers
Must be damned in the cup like unworthy receivers.

                      John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester

John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester's other poems:
  1. The Advice
  2. Upon his Leaving his Mistress
  3. A Song (Phillis, be gentler, I advise)
  4. The Imperfect Enjoyment
  5. Grecian Kindness

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