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Poem by John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester


Upon his Leaving his Mistress


              I.

'Tis not that I am weary grown
Of being yours, and yours alone:
But with what Face can I incline,
To damn you to be only mine?
You, whom some kinder Pow'r did fashion,
By Merit, and by Inclination,
The Joy at least of a whole Nation.

              II.

Let meaner Spirits of your Sex,
With humble Aims their Thoughts perplex:
And boast, if, by their Arts, they can
Contrive to make one happy Man.
Whilst, mov'd by an impartial Sense,
Favours, like Nature, you dispense,
With Universal Influence.

              III.

See, the kind Seed-receiving Earth,
To ev'ry Grain affords a Birth:
On her no Show'rs unwelcome fall,
Her willing Womb retains 'em all.
And shall my Cælia be confin'd?
No, live up to thy mighty Mind;
And be the Mistress of Mankind.



                      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. The Advice
  4. Grecian Kindness
  5. On the Women about Town


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