by: Aphra Behn (1640-1689)

      s when a conqu'ror does in triumph come,
      And proudly leads the vanquished captives home,
      The joyful people crowd in ev'ry street,
      And with loud shouts of praise the victor greet;
      While some whom chance or fortune kept away,
      Desire at least the story of the day;
      How brave the Prince, how gay the chariot was,
      How beautiful he looked with what a grace;
      Whether upon his head he plumes did wear;
      Or if a wreath of bays adorned his hair:
      They hear 'tis wondrous fine, and long much more
      To see the Hero than they did before.
      So when the marvels by report I knew,
      Of how much beauty, Cloris, dwelt in you;
      How many slaves your conqu'ring eyes had won,
      And how the gazing crowd admiring throng:
      I wished to see, and much a lover grew
      Of so much beauty, though my rivals too.
      I came and saw, and blest my destiny;
      I found it just you should out-rival me.
      'Twas at the altar, where more hearts were giv'n
      To you that day, then were addressed to Heav'n.
      The rev'rend man whose age and mystery
      Had rendered youth and beauty vanity,
      By fatal chance casting his eyes your way,
      Mistook the duller bus'ness of the day,
      Forgot the Gospel, and began to pray.
      Whilst the enamoured crowd that near you pressed
      Receiving darts which none could e'er resist,
      Neglected the mistake o'th' love-sick priest.
      Ev'n my devotion, Cloris, you betrayed,
      And I to Heaven no other petition made,
      But that you might all other nymphs out-do
      In cruelty as well as beauty too.
      I called Amyntas faithless Swain before,
      But now I find 'tis just he should adore.
      Not to love you, a wonder sure would be,
      Greater than all his perjuries to me.
      And whilst I blame him, I excuse him too;
      Who would not venture Heav'n to purchase you?
      But charming Cloris, you too meanly prize
      The more deserving glories of your eyes,
      If you permit him on an amorous score,
      To be your slave, who was my slave before.
      He oft has fetters worn, and can with ease
      Admit 'em or dismiss 'em when he please.
      A virgin-heart you merit, that ne'er found
      It could receive, till from your eyes, the wound;
      A heart that nothing but your force can fear,
      And own a soul as great as you are fair.



  • Aphra Behn - A biography of the British poet and dramatist.
  • Aphra Behn - A biography of the British dramatist and spy for England, code-named "Astrea" or Agent 160.
  • Purchase books by Aphra Behn


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