Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO JULIA TO EXPEDITE HER PROMISE, by JOHN CLEVELAND



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TO JULIA TO EXPEDITE HER PROMISE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Since 'tis my doom, love's undershrieve
Last Line: To cure the spital world of maladies.


SINCE 'tis my doom, Love's undershrieve,
Why this reprieve?
Why doth my she-advowson fly
Incumbency?
Panting expectance makes us prove
The antics of benighted love,
And withered mates when wedlock joins,
They're Hymen's monkeys, which he ties by th' loins
To play, alas! but at rebated foins.

To sell thyself dost thou intend
By candle end,
And hold the contract thus in doubt,
Life's taper out?
Think but how soon the market fails;
Your sex lives faster than the males;
As if, to measure age's span,
The sober Julian were th' account of man,
Whilst you live by the fleet Gregorian.

Now since you bear a date so short,
Live double for't.
How can thy fortress ever stand
If't be not manned?
The siege so gains upon the place
Thou'lt find the trenches in thy face.
Pity thyself then if not me,
And hold not out, lest like Ostend thou be
Nothing but rubbish at delivery.

The candidates of Peter's chair
Must plead grey hair,
And use the simony of a cough
To help them off.
But when I woo, thus old and spent,
I'll wed by will and testament.
No, let us love while crisped and curled;
The greatest honours, on the aged hurled,
Are but gay furloughs for another world.

To-morrow what thou tenderest me
Is legacy.
Not one of all those ravenous hours
But thee devours.
And though thou still recruited be,
Like Pelops, with soft ivory,
Though thou consume but to renew,
Yet Love as lord doth claim a heriot due;
That's the best quick thing I can find of you.

I feel thou art consenting ripe
By that soft gripe,
And those regealing crystal spheres.
I hold thy tears
Pledges of more distilling sweets,
The bath that ushers in the sheets.
Else pious Julia, angel-wise,
Moves the Bethesda of her trickling eyes
To cure the spital world of maladies.





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