The Abraham Cowley Text and Image Archive

from The Mistress, Poems (1656; editor's copy)

'TIs mighty Wise that you would now be thought
With your grave Rules from musty Morals brought:
Through which some streaks too of Divin'ity ran,
Partly of Monk, and partly Puritan;
With tedious Repetitions too y'ave tane
Often the name of Vanity in vaine.
Things, which, I take it, friend, you'd ne'r recite,
Should she I love, but say t' you, Come at night.
The Wisest King refus'd all pleasures quite,
Till Wisdom from above did him enlight;  10
But when that gift his igno'rance did remove,
Pleasures he chose, and plac'd them all in Love.
And if by'event the Counsels may be seen,
This wisdom 'twas that brought the Southern Queen.
She came not, like a good old Wife, to know
The wholesome nature of all plants that grow:
Nor did so far from her own Countrey rome,
To cure scall'd heads, and broken shinns at home;
She came for that, which more befits all Wives,
The art of Giving, not of Saving Lives.  20

This text normalized in the same way as Cowley's "Hymn to Light."
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