Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. II. Love
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume II. Love.  1904.
 
V. Cautions and Complaints
To Chloe
John Wolcot (Peter Pindar) (1738–1819)
 
An Apology for Going into the Country

CHLOE, we must not always be in heaven,
  Forever toying, ogling, kissing, billing;
The joys for which I thousands would have given,
  Will presently be scarcely worth a shilling.
 
Thy neck is fairer than the Alpine snows,        5
  And, sweetly swelling, beats the down of doves;
Thy cheek of health, a rival to the rose;
  Thy pouting lips, the throne of all the loves;
Yet, though thus beautiful beyond expression,
That beauty fadeth by too much possession.        10
 
Economy in love is peace to nature,
Much like economy in worldly matter;
We should be prudent, never live too fast;
Profusion will not, cannot always last.
 
Lovers are really spendthrifts,—’t is a shame,—        15
Nothing their thoughtless, wild career can tame,
  Till penury stares them in the face;
And when they find an empty purse,
 
Grown calmer, wiser, how the fault they curse,
  And, limping, look with such a sneaking grace!        20
Job’s war-horse fierce, his neck with thunder hung,
Sunk to an humble hack that carries dung.
 
Smell to the queen of flowers, the fragrant rose—
Smell twenty times—and then, my dear, thy nose
Will tell thee (not so much for scent athirst)        25
The twentieth drank less flavor than the first.
 
Love, doubtless, is the sweetest of all fellows;
  Yet often should the little god retire.
Absence, dear Chloe, is a pair of bellows,
  That keeps alive the sacred fire.        30
 
 
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