To Mr. C—.
1 AT length, by much importunity press'd,
2 Take, C—, at once the inside of my breast.
3 This stupid indiff'rence so often you blame,
4 Is not owing to nature, to fear, or to shame.
5 I am not as cold as a virgin in lead,
6 Nor is Sunday's sermon so strong in my head:
7 I know but too well how time flies along,
8 That we live but few years, and yet fewer are young.
9 But I hate to be cheated, and never will buy
10 Long years of repentance for moments of joy.
11 Oh! was there a man (but where shall I find
12 Good sense and good-nature so equally join'd?)
13 Would value his pleasure, contribute to mine;
14 Not meanly would boast, nor lewdly design,
15 Not over severe, yet not stupidly vain,
16 For I would have the power, tho' not give the pain.
17 No pedant, yet learned; nor rake-helly gay,
18 Or laughing because he has nothing to say;
19 To all my whole sex, obliging and free,
20 Yet never be fond of any but me;
21 In public preserve the decorum that's just,
22 And shew in his eyes he is true to his trust;
23 Then rarely approach, and respectfully bow,
24 But not fulsomely pert, nor fopishly low.
25 But when the long hours of publick are past,
26 And we meet with champagne and a chicken at last,
27 May ev'ry fond pleasure that moment endear;
28 Be banish'd afar both discretion and fear!
29 Forgetting or scorning the airs of the crowd,
30 He may cease to be formal, and I to be proud,
31 Till lost in the joy, we confess that we live,
32 And he may be rude, and yet I may forgive.
33 And that my delight may be solidly fix'd,
34 Let the friend and the lover be handsomely mix'd,
35 In whose tender bosom my soul may confide,
36 Whose kindness can sooth me, whose counsel can guide.
37 From such a dear lover, as here I describe,
38 No danger should fright me, no millions should bribe;
39 But till this astonishing creature I know,
40 As I long have liv'd chaste, I will keep myself so.
41 I never will share with the wanton coquet,
42 Or be caught by a vain affectation of wit.
43 The toasters and songsters may try all their art,
44 But never shall enter the pass of my heart.
45 I loath the lewd rake, the dress'd fopling despise:
46 Before such pursuers the nice virgin flies:
47 And as OVID has sweetly in parables told,
48 We harden like trees, and like rivers grow cold.
About this text
Title (in Source Edition): The LOVER: A Ballad.
Author: Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
Themes: sex; relations between the sexes; love
Genres: ballad metre
References: DMI 22754
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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.
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