Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. II. Ben Jonson to Dryden
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. II. The Seventeenth Century: Ben Jonson to Dryden
 
To One Who Wrote against a Fair Lady
By Edmund Waller (1606–1687)
 
WHAT fury has provoked thy wit to dare
  With Diomede to wound the Queen of Love?
Thy mistress’ envy, or thine own despair?
  Not the just Pallas in thy breast did move;
So blind a rage with such a different fate,        5
He honour won, where thou hast purchased hate.
 
She gave assistance to his Trojan foe;
  Thou that without a rival thou may’st love,
Dost to the beauty of this lady owe,
  While after her the gazing world does move;        10
Can’st thou not be content to love alone,
Or is thy mistress not content with one?
 
Hast thou not read of fairy Arthur’s shield,
  Which, but disclosed, amazed the weaker eyes
Of proudest foes, and won the doubtful field?        15
  So shall thy rebel wit become her prize;
Should thy iambics swell into a book,
All were confuted with one radiant look.
 
Heaven he obliged that placed her in the skies,
  Rewarding Phoebus for inspiring so        20
His noble brain, by likening to those eyes
  His joyful beams, but Phoebus is thy foe,
And neither aids thy fancy nor thy sight,
So ill thou rhym’st against so fair a light.
 
 
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