Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Restoration Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Restoration Verse.  1910.
 
Song: ‘Give me leave to rail at you’
By John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester (1647–1680)
 
GIVE me leave to rail at you,
I ask nothing but my due;
To call you false, and then to say
You shall not keep my heart a day:
But, alas! against my will,        5
I must be your captive still.
Ah! be kinder then: for I
Cannot change, and would not die.
 
Kindness has resistless charms,
All besides but weakly move,        10
Fiercest anger it disarms,
And clips the wings of flying love.
Beauty does the heart invade,
Kindness only can persuade;
It gilds the lover’s servile chain,        15
And makes the slaves grow pleased again.
 
 
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