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THE SECRETARY; WRITTEN AT THE HAGUE, 1696, by             Poem Explanation         Poet's Biography
First Line: While with labour assiduous due pleasure I mix
Last Line: So blest as the englishen heer secretar' is.
Subject(s): Hague, Netherlands; Travel; Journeys; Trips

WHILE with labour assiduous due pleasure I mix,
And in one day atone for the business of six,
In a little Dutch chaise, on a Saturday night,
On my left hand my Horace, a nymph on my right;
No memoirs to compose, and no post-boy to move,
That on Sunday may hinder the softness of love.
For her neither visits nor parties at tea,
Nor the long-winded cant of a dull refugee.
This night and the next shall be hers, shall be mine,
To good or ill fortune the third we resign.
Thus scorning the world, and superior to fate,
I drive in my car in professional state.
So with Phia through Athens Pisistratus rode;
Men thought her Minerva, and him a new god.
But why should I stories of Athens rehearse
Where people knew love, and were partial to verse,
Since none can with justice my pleasures oppose
In Holland half-drowned in interest and prose?
By Greece and past ages what need I be tried
When The Hague and the present are both on my side;
And is it enough for the joys of the day
To think what Anacreon or Sappho would say?
When good Vandergoes and his provident vrow,
As they gaze on my triumph do freely allow,
That, search all the province, you'll find no man dar is
So blest as the Englishen Heer Secretar' is.

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