previous next

Elegy XIX: By Dryden.

If for thyself thou wilt not watch thy whore,
Watch her for me that I may love her more.
What comes with ease we nauseously receive,
Who but a sot would scorn to love with leave?
With hopes and fears my flames are blown up higher;
Make me despair, and then I can desire.
Give me a jilt to tease my jealous mind;
Deceits are virtues in the female kind.
Corinna my fantastic humour knew,
Play'd trick for trick, and kept herself still new;
She, that next night I might the sharper come,
Fell out with me, and sent me fasting home.
Or some pretence to lie alone would take ;
Whene'er she pleas'd her head and teeth would ache:
Till having won me to the highest strain,
She took occasion to be sweet again.
With what a gust, ye gods, we then embrac'd!
How ev'ry kiss was dearer than the last!
Thou whom I now adore, be edified,
Take care that I may often be denied;
Forget the promis'd hour, or feign some fright,
Make me lie rough on bulks each other night.
These are the arts that best secure thy reign,
And this the food that must my fires maintain.
Gross easy love does, like gross diet, pall;
In squeasy stomachs honey turns to gall.
Had Danae not been kept in brazen tow'rs,
Jove had not thought her worth his golden show'rs:
When Juno to a cow turn'd Io's shape,
The watchman help'd her to a second leap.
Let him who loves an easy whetstone whore,
Pluck leaves from trees, and drink the common shore.
The jilting harlot strikes the surest blow,
A truth which I by sad experience know;
The kind, poor, constant creature we despise,
Man but pursues the quarry while it flies.
But thou dull husband of a wife too fair,
Stand on thy guard, and watch the precious ware;
If creaking doors, or barking dogs, thou hear,
Or windows scratch'd, suspect a rival there.
An orange wench would tempt thy wife abroad;
Kick her, for she's a letter-bearing bawd.
In short, be jealous as the devil in hell,
And set my wit on work to cheat thee well.
The sneaking city-cuckold is my foe;
I scorn to strike but when he wards the blow.
Look to thy hits and leave off thy conniving,
I'll be no drudge to any wittol living;
I have been patient, and forborne thee long,
In hope thou wouldst not pocket up thy wrong:
If no affront can rouse thee, understand
I'll take no more indulgence at thy hand.
What, ne'er to be forbid thy house and wife
Damn him who loves to lead so ill a life.
Now I can neither sigh, nor whine, nor pray;
All those occasions thou hast ta'en away.
Why art thou so incorrigibly civil ?
Do somewhat I may wish thee at the devil
For shame, be no accomplice in my treason;
A pimping husband is too much in reason.
Once more wear horns, before I quite forsake her
In hopes whereof, I rest thy cuckold-maker.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus English (Christopher Marlowe)
load focus Latin (R. Ehwald, 1907)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Juno (North Carolina, United States) (1)
Corinna (Maine, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (2 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • George W. Mooney, Commentary on Apollonius: Argonautica, 3.1018
  • Cross-references to this page (1):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: