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Ode to Venus, from her Votaries of the Street.

1 ARE these thy palms? oh queen of love!
2 Pity thy wretched votaries! From above
3 Behold them stroll, their bosoms bare,
4 Chill'd with the blasts of rude St. Clement's air;
5 And twitch the sleeve with sly advance:
6 Roll the bright eye, or shoot the side-long glance:
7 Whilst the chaste moon, with envious light
8 Peeps thro' the curtain of the freezing night.
9 Not thus when Horace hymn'd thy praise.
10 You heard the Glyceras of happier days.
11 Oh goddess of love's pleasing pain!
12 From thy own isle avert the frost, and rain;
13 Nor let the little mouth inhale,
14 (Bane to the teeth) a rough, unfriendly gale;
15 Or slender ancle white, and neat,
16 Betray a splash from the polluted street.
17 Look down with pity on the woes,
18 That trace our footsteps, and our haunts enclose.
19 For thee, we forfeit fair renown,
20 Brave want and danger, orphans of the town;
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21 For thee, sustain the cruel shock
22 Of caustic Franks, and cicatrizing Rock:
23 Happy! if Hermes' timely care,
24 The searching deity of here and there,
25 Can soften the venereal doom,
26 And keep awhile pale beauty from the tomb.
27 But languid! lifeless! cold, and bare,
28 Gone ev'ry tooth, and fallen ev'ry hair,
29 A prey to grief, remorse, disease,
30 Ah! Paphian Venus, faithless as the seas!
31 Fir'd by thy spells, and magic charms,
32 We guiltless virgins glow'd at soft alarms.
33 Embark'd with youth, and airy smiles,
34 The graces, playful loves and wanton wiles;
35 On pleasure's wave we loos'd the sails,
36 Alas! too credulous of flatt'ring gales;
37 For lo! the heav'ns with clouds are spread,
38 The graces, loves, with youth are fled,
39 And leave the ship, an easy prize,
40 Unrigg'd and leaky to th' inclement skies.

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    About this text

    Title (in Source Edition): Ode to Venus, from her Votaries of the Street.
    Author: Anonymous
    Themes: sex; illness; injury; bawdy humour
    Genres: ode
    References: DMI 27771

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    Source edition

    A Collection of Poems in Six Volumes. By Several Hands. Vol. V. London: printed by J. Hughs, for R. and J. Dodsley, 1763 [1st ed. 1758], pp. 305-306. 6v.: music; 8⁰. (ESTC T131163; OTA K104099.005) (Page images digitized by the Eighteenth-Century Poetry Archive from a copy in the archive's library.)

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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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