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Poem by John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester


Against Constancy


Tell me no more of constancy,
     The frivolous pretense
Of cold age, narrow jealousy,
     Disease, and want of sense.

Let duller fools, on whom kind chance
     Some easy heart has thrown,
Despairing higher to advance,
     Be kind to one alone.

Old men and weak, whose idle flame
     Their own defects discovers,
Since changing can but spread their shame,
     Ought to be constant lovers.

But we, whose hearts do justly swell
     With no vainglorious pride,
Who know how we in love excel,
     Long to be often tried.

Then bring my bath, and strew my bed,
     As each kind night returns;
I'll change a mistress till I'm deadЧ
     And fate change me to worms.



                      John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester


John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester's other poems:
  1. A Song (Phillis, be gentler, I advise)
  2. Epistle
  3. The Advice
  4. On the Women about Town
  5. Upon his Leaving his Mistress


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