412. The Libertine

Aphra Behn. 1640-1689

A THOUSAND martyrs I have made,
  All sacrificed to my desire,
A thousand beauties have betray'd
  That languish in resistless fire:
The untamed heart to hand I brought,
And fix'd the wild and wand'ring thought.

I never vow'd nor sigh'd in vain,
  But both, tho' false, were well received;
The fair are pleased to give us pain,
  And what they wish is soon believed:
And tho' I talk'd of wounds and smart,
Love's pleasures only touch'd my heart.

Alone the glory and the spoil
  I always laughing bore away;
The triumphs without pain or toil,
  Without the hell the heaven of joy;
And while I thus at random rove
Despise the fools that whine for love.

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