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Poem by John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester

Woman's Honour

            A Song


LOVE bid me hope and I obey'd;
     Phillis continu'd still unkind:
Then you may e'en despair, he said,
     In vain I strive to change her Mind.


Honour's got in, and keeps her Heart;
     Durst he but venture once abroad,
In my own Right I'd take your Part,
     And shew my self a mightier God.


This huffing Honour domineers
     In Breasts, where he alone has place:
But if true gen'rous Love appears,
     The Hector dares not shew his Face.


Let me still languish and complain,
     Be most inhumanly deny'd:
I have some Pleasure in my Pain,
     She can have none with all her Pride.


I fall a Sacrifice to Love,
     She lives a Wretch for Honour's sake;
Whose Tyrant does most cruel prove,
     The Diff'rence is not hard to make.


Consider Real Honour then,
     You'll find Hers cannot be the same;
'Tis noble Confidence in Men,
     In Women mean mistrustful Shame.

John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester

John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester's other poems:
  1. The Advice
  2. A Song (Phillis, be gentler, I advise)
  3. Epistle
  4. A Song (To this Moment a Rebel)
  5. On the Women about Town

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