1703 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Nicholas Rowe

Anonymous, "On Mr. Rowe's Fair Penitent" 1703 ca.; Nichols, Select Collection of Poems (1780-82) 5:154-55.



See here the various scenes of human lives;
Uncommon husbands true, but common wives;
One, charming, faithless, haughty when reprov'd,
Lov'd by her husband, her gallant she lov'd;
One, an indulgent, faithful, constant bride,
Fond of her spouse, neglects the world beside.
That husband, though with friends and fortune blest,
Finds a domestic ill that racks his breast;
While this, though Fortune frown, though friends desert,
Finds one to lull his cares, and charm his heart.

Would women rather, from the throng retir'd,
Be lov'd by one, than be by crowds admir'd:
Would men, before their hearts were quite resign'd,
Forget the faces, and inspect the mind:
Such objects, should they fainter charms possess,
Would please them longer, tho' they pleas'd them less.
For Beauty's blaze, though fierce, is quickly past;
While Love, good Sense, and Virtue, always last.