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Poem by Oliver Goldsmith


The Gift to Iris


To Iris, In Bow Street, Covent Garden

SAY, cruel IRIS, pretty rake,
Dear mercenary beauty,
What annual offering shall I make,
Expressive of my duty?

My heart, a victim to thine eyes,
Should I at once deliver,
Say, would the angry fair one prize
The gift, who slights the giver?

A bill, a jewel, watch, or toy,
My rivals give-and let 'em;
If gems, or gold, impart a joy,
I'll give them-when I get 'em.

I'll give-but not the full-blown rose,
Or rose-bud more in fashion;
Such short-liv'd offerings but disclose
A transitory passion.

I'll give thee something yet unpaid,
Not less sincere, than civil:
I'll give thee-Ah! too charming maid,
I'll give thee-To the devil. 



Oliver Goldsmith


Oliver Goldsmith's other poems:
  1. Answer to an Invitation to Pass the Christmas at Barton
  2. On Seeing a Lady Perform a Certain Character
  3. From the Latin of Vida
  4. Song, from the Comedy of She Stoops to Conquer
  5. The Double Transformation


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