Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, MARK ANTONY, by JOHN CLEVELAND

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

MARK ANTONY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Whenas the nightingale chanted her vespers
Last Line: With the fair egyptian queen.
Subject(s): Antony, Marc (83-30 B.c.); Marcus Antonius; Anthony, Mark

WHEN as the nightingale chanted her vespers,
And the wild forester couched on the ground,
Venus invited me in th' evening whispers
Unto a fragrant field with roses crowned,
Where she before had sent
My wishes' compliment;
Unto my heart's content
Played with me on the green.
Never Mark Antony
Dallied more wantonly
With the fair Egyptian Queen.

First on her cherry cheeks I mine eyes feasted,
Thence fear of surfeiting made me retire:
Next on her warmer lips, which, when I tasted,
My duller spirits made active as fire.
Then we began to dart,
Each at another's heart,
Arrows that knew no smart,
Sweet lips and smiles between.
Never Mark, &c.

Wanting a glass to plait her amber tresses
Which like a bracelet rich decked mine arm,
Gaudier than Juno wears when as she graces
Jove with embraces more stately than warm,
Then did she peep in mine
Eyes' humour crystalline;
I in her eyes was seen
As if we one had been.
Never Mark, &c.

Mystical grammar of amorous glances;
Feeling of pulses, the physic of love;
Rhetorical courtings and musical dances;
Numbering of kisses arithmetic prove;
Eyes like astronomy;
Straight-limbed geometry;
In her art's ingeny
Our wits were sharp and keen.
Never Mark Antony
Dallied more wantonly
With the fair Egyptian Queen.

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