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Poem by Richard Lovelace

The Faire Begger


Comanding asker, if it be
    Pity that you faine would have, 
Then I turne begger unto thee,
    And aske the thing that thou dost crave. 
I will suffice thy hungry need,
So thou wilt but my fancy feed.


In all ill yeares, was ever knowne
    On so much beauty such a dearth? 
Which, in that thrice-bequeathed gowne,
    Lookes like the Sun eclipst with Earth, 
Like gold in canvas, or with dirt
Unsoyled Ermins close begirt.


Yet happy he, that can but tast
    This whiter skin, who thirsty is! 
Fooles dote on sattin motions lac'd:
    The gods go naked in their blisse. 
At th' barrell's head there shines the vine,
There only relishes the wine.


There quench my heat, and thou shalt sup
    Worthy the lips that it must touch, 
Nectar from out the starry cup:
    I beg thy breath not halfe so much. 
So both our wants supplied shall be,
You'l give for love, I, charity.


Cheape then are pearle-imbroderies,
    That not adorne, but cloud thy wast; 
Thou shalt be cloath'd above all prise,
    If thou wilt promise me imbrac't. 
Wee'l ransack neither chest nor shelfe:
Ill cover thee with mine owne selfe.


But, cruel, if thou dost deny
    This necessary almes to me, 
What soft-soul'd man but with his eye
    And hand will hence be shut to thee? 
Since all must judge you more unkinde:
I starve your body, you, my minde. 

Richard Lovelace

Richard Lovelace's other poems:
  1. Cupid Far Gone
  2. The Vintage to the Dungeon
  3. Upon the Curtain of Lucasta's Picture, It was Thus Wrought
  4. To Lucasta, I Laugh And Sing
  5. Gratiana Dancing And Singing

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