Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, BALLAD TO A FRENCH TUNE (1), by PATRICK CAREY

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

BALLAD TO A FRENCH TUNE (1), by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: Speak of somewhat else, I pray
Last Line: I'll make thousands; be but one.
Subject(s): Astrology & Astrologers; Lilly, William L. (1602-1681)


SPEAK of somewhat else, I pray;
This year I'll not married be:
Lilly, Joan, foretells, they say,
That horns plenty we shall see:
This aspect of Capricorn,
I'll let pass, for fear o' the horn.


Not that I pretend alone
To go free, since 'tis i' th' text;
Cuckolds shall be every one,
In this world, or in the next.
I'd a while keep out o' th' herd;
That's not lost, that is deferr'd.


I've not patience yet enough,
All my jealousy's not gone;
I'd stay, till my forehead tough
Felt not, when that cap's put on:
Quietly then, with the rest,
I shall bear the well-known crest.


When Jove th' European rape
Did commit, large horns he wore;
Though he reassum'd his shape,
Those he ever after bore:
Since the Gods do wear them then,
Why should they be scorn'd by men?


'Cause great lords are crown'd, you guess
That their heads no horns do bear;
Yet, although we see them less,
Joan! assure thyself, th' are there:
Neither learning, strength, nor state
Can secure us from that fate.


For one branch the beggar has,
Forty can the rich man show;
Whilst by madame often was
Th' horner paid, to make them so:
Cuckold then who fears to be,
Merits not good company.


From such honour, yet awhile
I'll be kept, by my weak stead:
But ere long, Joan, thou shalt smile,
Seeing how my fair horns spread.
For my comfort -- cuckolds, Joan,
I'll make thousands; be but one.

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