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Poem by Jonathan Swift


A Gentle Echo on Woman


Shepherd. Echo, I ween, will in the woods reply,
And quaintly answer questions. Shall I try?
Echo. Try.
Shepherd. What must we do our passion to express?
Echo. Press.
Shepherd. How shall I please her, who ne'er loved before?
Echo. Before.
Shepherd. What most moves women when we them address?
Echo. A dress.
Shepherd. Say, what can keep her chaste whom I adore?
Echo. A door.
Shepherd. If music softens rocks, love tunes my lyre.
Echo. Liar.
Shepherd. Then teach me, Echo, how shall I come by her?
Echo. Buy her.
Shepherd. When bought, no question I shall be her dear?
Echo. Her deer.
Shepherd. But deer have horns: how must I keep her under?
Echo. Keep her under.
Shepherd. But what can glad me when she's laid on bier?
Echo. Beer.
Shepherd. What must I do when women will be kind?
Echo. Be kind.
Shepherd. What must I do when women will be cross?
Echo. Be cross.
Shepherd. Lord, what is she that can so turn and wind?
Echo. Wind.
Shepherd. If she be wind, what stills her when she blows?
Echo. Blows.
Shepherd. But if she bang again, still should I bang her?
Echo. Bang her.
Shepherd. Is there no way to moderate her anger?
Echo. Hang her.
Shepherd. Thanks, gentle Echo! Right thy answers tell
What woman is, and how to guard her well.
Echo. Guard her well. 



Jonathan Swift


Jonathan Swift's other poems:
  1. Sid HametТs Rod
  2. On the Vowels
  3. Elegy on Partridge
  4. On Stella's Birth-day 1719
  5. Stella's Birthday March 13, 1727


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