Elegy III: To a Eunuch, who had the keeping of his mistressHow hard's my hap, to have my fair consign'd
To one, who is imperfect in his kind;
To one, who ne'er can have the pow'r to prove
As woman, or as man, the mutual joys of love!
Who practis'd first on boys the cutting steel,
Deserv'd himself the fatal wound to feel.
Couldst thou be capable of Cupid's fires,
Or the least sensible of love's desires,
Some pity thou wouldst have on me, and grant
Thy aid, for what thou canst not know I want.
Ill suits thee now, the warrior's lance to wield,
To mount the manag'd horse, or lift the brazen shield:
Arms are for men, and not for such as thee,
Who shouldst from ev'ry manly thought be free.
No banner shouldst thou, but thy lady's bear,
And have no other leader but the fair.
Much it behoves thee then to strive to gain
Her favour, and thou need'st not strive in vain.
Consult her pleasure, and her will obey,
To favour that's the sure, the ready way:
Without it, how unhappy wilt thou be!
Life is without it of no use to thee.
Thou'rt beautiful, and mayst thy prime enjoy,
And well thy beauty and thy youth employ.
Study to serve thy gentle mistress well,
And merit her good graces by thy zeal;
Watch as thou wilt, the trouble thou mayst spare,
She'll easily deceive thy utmost care.
When two fond lovers are agreed to meet,
Canst thou their well-concerted plot defeat?
The ways of kindness thou shouldst rather use;
By being civil thou wilt nothing lose;
And when an opportunity is fail,
For thy own sake be friendly to our pray'r.
A friend be to thy lady, not a guard,
And we, with bounteous hand, thy friendship will reward.