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Poem by John Cunningham

The Warning

Young Colin once courted Myrtilla the prude,
If he sigh'd or look'd tender, she cry'd he was rude;
Though he begg'd with devotion, some ease for his pain,
The shepherd got nothing but frowns and disdain:
Fatigu'd with her folly, his suit he gave o'er,
And vow'd that no female should fetter him more.

He strove with all caution to 'scape from the net,
But Chloe soon caught him,a finish'd coquet!
She glanc'd to his glances, she sigh'd to his sighs,
And flatter'd his hopesin the language of eyes.
Alas for poor Colin! when put to the test,
Himself and his passion prov'd both but her jest.

By the critical third he was fix'd in the snare;
By Fannygay, young, unaffected, and fair;
When she found he had merit, and love took his part,
She dally'd no longerbut yielded her heart.
With joy they submitted to Hymen's decree,
And now are as happyas happy can be.

As the rosebud of beauty soon sickens and fades,
The prude and coquet are two slighted old maids;
Now their sweets are all wasted,too late they repent,
For transports untasted, for moments misspent!
Ye virgins take warning, improve by my plan,
And fix the fond youth when you prudently can.

John Cunningham

John Cunningham's other poems:
  1. Stanzas Addressed to Miss S--
  2. Anacreon: Ode 5
  3. Palemon
  4. A Landscape
  5. Anacreon: Ode 58

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • George Meredith The Warning ("We have seen mighty men ballooning high")
  • Henry Longfellow The Warning ("Beware! The Israelite of old, who tore")

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