Urge not ’tis necessary; alas! we know
The homeliest thing that mankind does is so.
The world is of a large extent we see,
And must be peopled; children there must be: 30
So must bread too; but since there are enow
Born to that drudgery, what need we plough?
I need not plough, since what the stooping hine
Gets of my pregnant land must all be mine;
But in this nobler tillage ’tis not so;
For when Anchises did fair Venus know,
What interest had poor Vulcan in the boy,
Famous Aeneas, or the present joy?
Women enjoy’d, whate’er before they’ve
Are like romances read, or scenes once seen;
Fruition dulls or spoils the play much more
Than if one read, or knew the plot before.
Plays and romances read and seen, do fall
In our opinions; yet not seen at all,
Whom would they please? To an heroic tale
Would you not listen, lest it should grow stale?
’Tis expectation makes a blessing dear;
Heaven were not heaven, if we knew what it were.
If ’twere not heaven if we knew what it were,
’Twould not be heaven to those that now are there. 50
And as in prospects we are there pleased most,
Where something keeps the eye from being lost,
And leaves us room to guess; so here, restraint
Holds up delight, that with excess would faint.
Restraint preserves the pleasure we have got,
But he ne’er has it that enjoys it not.
In goodly prospects, who contracts the space,
Or takes not all the bounty of the place?
We wish remov’d what standeth in our light,
And nature blame for limiting our sight; 60
Where you stand wisely winking, that the view
Of the fair prospect may be always new.
They, who know all the wealth they have, are poor;
He’s only rich that cannot tell his store.
Not he that knows the wealth he has is poor,
But he that dares not touch, nor use, his store.
 ‘Hine’: hind.
AN APOLOGY FOR HAVING LOVED BEFORE.
1 They that never had the use
Of the grape’s surprising juice,
To the first delicious cup
All their reason render up;
Neither do, nor care to know,
Whether it be best or no.
2 So they that are to love inclined,
Sway’d by chance, not choice or art,
To the first that’s fair, or kind,
Make a present of their heart;
’Tis not she that first we love,
But whom dying we approve.
3 To man, that was in th’ev’ning made,
Stars gave the first delight,
Admiring, in the gloomy shade,
Those little drops of light;
Then at Aurora, whose fair hand
Removed them from the skies,
He gazing t’ward the east did stand,
She entertain’d his eyes.