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Poem by John Gay

The Coquet Mother and Coquet Daughter

             A SONG

	At the close of the day, 
	When the beanflower and hay 
Breathd odours in every wind; 
	Love enlivend the veins 
	Of the damsels and swains; 
Each glance and each action was kind.

	Molly, wanton and free, 
	Kissd, and sat on each knee, 
Fond ecstasy swam in her eyes: 
	 See, thy mother is near, 
	Hark! She calls thee to hear 
What Age and Experience advise.

	 Hast thou seen the blithe dove 
	Stretch her neck to her love, 
All glossy with purple and gold? 
	If a kiss he obtain, 
	She returns it again: 
What follows, you need not be told.

	 Look ye, Mother, she cryd, 
	You instruct me in Pride, 
And Men by good manners are won. 
	She who trifles with all 
	Is less likely to fall 
Than she who but trifles with one.

	 Prithee, Molly, be wise, 
	Lest by sudden surprise 
Love should tingle in every vein: 
	Take a shepherd for life, 
	And when once youre a wife, 
You safely may trifle again.

	Molly smiling replied, 
	 Then Ill soon be a bride; 
Old Roger has gold in his chest; 
	But I thought all you wives 
	Chose a man for your lives, 
And trifled no more with the rest.

John Gay

John Gay's other poems:
  1. Sweet William's Farewell to Black-Ey'd Susan
  2. To a Young Lady, with Some Lampreys
  3. An Elegy on a Lap-dog
  4. If the Heart of a Man
  5. The Quidnunckis

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