Page images


Son of Sir John Sedley, of Aylesford in Kent, bart. was

born about 1639, entered at Wadham College, Oxford, 1656, where he spent only a short time, lived in retirement during Cromwell's usurpation, and coming to court after the Restoration, soon distinguished himself by superior wit and debauchery amongst the witty and profligate companions of Charles II. His conduct in Parliament shewed that he possessed in an equal degree the talents necessary for serious business. He was the author of six plays, and

of a volume of poems, and died in 1701. See a more particular account in the Biographia Dramatica.

Phillis, let's shun the common fate,
And let our love ne'er turn to hate.
I'll doat no longer than I can, ..
Without being call'd a faithless man.
When we begin to want discourse,
And kindness seems to taste of force,
As freely as we met we'll part ;
Each one possess'd of their own heart.
Thus, whilst rash fools themselves undo,
We'll game, and give off savers too.
So equally the match we'll make,

Both shall be glad to draw the stake :. .

2 B

A smile of thine shall make my bliss,
I will enjoy thee in a kiss.
If from this height our kindness fall,
We'll bravely scorn to love at all.
If thy affection first decay,
I will the blame on nature lay.
Alas! what cordial can remove
The hasty fate of dying Love?
Thus we will all the world excel,
In loving and in parting well.


Not, Celia, that I juster am

Or better than the rest; For I would change each hour, like them,

Were not my heart at rest.

But I am tied to very thee

By every thought I have: Thy face I only care to see,

Thy heart I only crave.

All that in woman is ador'd,

In thy dear self I find;

For the whole sex can but afford

The handsome and the kind.

Why then should I seek further store,

And still make love anew ?
When change itself can give no more,.

'Tis easy to be true.

[ocr errors]

To Cloris.

CLORIS, I cannot say your eyes
Did my unwary heart surprize ;
Nor will I swear it was your face,
Your shape, or any nameless grace;
For, you are so entirely fair,
To love a part injustice were.

No drowning man can know which drop
Of water his last breath did stop:
So when the stars in heaven appear, .
And join to make the night look clear,
The light we no one's bounty call,
But the obliging gift of all.

He that doth lips or hands adore
Deserves them only, and no more:
But I love all, and every part,
And nothing less can ease my heart.
Cupid that lover weakly strikes,
Whọ can express what 'tis he likes.

Indifference excused.

Love, when 'tis true, needs not the aid

Of sighs, nor oaths, to make it known: And, to convince the cruell'st maid,

Lovers should use their love alone.

Into their very looks 'twill steal,

And he that most would hide his flame Does in that case his pain reveal :

Silence itself can love proclaim.

This, my Aurelia, made me shun

The paths that common lovers tread, Whose guilty, passions are begun

Not in their heart, but in their head. :) I could not sigh, and with cross'd arms

Accuse your rigour, and my fate; Nor tax your beauty with such charms

As men adore, and women hate;'

But careless liv’d, and without art,

Knowing my love you must have spied; And thinking it a foolish part

To set to show what none can hide.

To a devout young Gentlewoman.
PHILLIS, this early zeal assuage !

You overact your part:
The martyrs at your tender age
Gave heaven but half their heart.

Old men till past the pleasure ne'er

Declaim against the sin : 'Tis early to begin to fear

The devil at fifteen.

The world to youth is too severe,

And, like a treacherous light, Beauty the actions of the fair

Exposes to their sight.

« PreviousContinue »