Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AN EVENING'S LOVE, OR THE MOCK ASTROLOGER: PROLOGUE, by JOHN DRYDEN

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First Line: When first our poet set himself to write
Last Line: Be kind to day, and cuckold him to morrow.
Subject(s): Muses; Poetry & Poets

WHEN first our Poet set himself to write,
Like a young Bridegroom on his Wedding-night,
He laid about him, and did so bestir him,
His Muse could never lye in quiet for him:
But now his Honey-moon is gone and past,
Yet the ungrateful drudgery must last,
And he is bound, as civil Husbands do,
To strain himself, in complaisance to you:
To write in pain, and counterfeit a Bliss,
Like the faint smackings of an after-Kiss.
But you, like Wives ill pleas'd, supply his want;
Each Writing Monsieur is a fresh gallant:
And though, perhaps, 'twas done as well before,
Yet still there's something in a new Amour.
Your several Poets work with several Tools,
One gets you Wits, another gets you Fools:
This pleases you with some by-stroke of Wit,
This finds some cranny that was never hit.
But should these janty Lovers daily come
To do your Work, like your good Man at home,
Their fine small-timber'd Wits would soon decay;
These are Gallants but for a Holiday.
Others you had, who oftner have appear'd,
Whom for meer impotence you have cashier'd:
Such as at first came on with Pomp and Glory,
But, over-straining, soon fell flat before ye.
Their useless weight with patience long was borne,
But at the last you threw 'em off with scorn.
As for the Poet of this present night,
Though now he claims in you an Husbands right,
He will not hinder you of fresh delight.
He, like a Seaman, seldom will appear,
And means to trouble home but thricea year;
That only time from your Gallants he'll borrow;
Be kind to day, and Cuckold him to morrow.

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