Poem of the day

The Antiplatonick
by John Cleveland (1613-1658)

For shame, thou everlasting Wooer,
Still saying Grace, and never falling to her!
Love that’s in Contemplation plac’t,
Is Venus drawn but to the Wast.
Unlesse your Flame confesse its gender,
And your Parley cause surrender,
Y’are Salamanders of a cold desire,
That live untouch’t amid the hottest fire.

What though she be a Dame of stone,
The Widow of Pigmalion;
As hard and un-relenting she,
As the new-crusted Niobe;
Or what doth more of Statue carry
A Nunne of the Platonick Quarry!
Love melts the rigour which the rocks have bred,
A Flint will break upon a Feather-bed.

For shame you pretty Female Elves,
Cease for to candy up your selves;
No more, you Sectaries of the Game,
No more of your calcining flame.
Women commence by Cupids Dart,
As a Kings hunting dubs a Hart.
Loves Votaries inthrall each others soul,
Till both of them live but upon Parole.

Vertue’s no more in Woman-kind
But the green sicknesse of the mind.
Philosophy, their new delight,
A kind of Char-coal appetite.
There’s no Sophistry prevails,
Where all-convincing Love assails,
But the disputing Petticoat will warp,
As skilfull Gamesters are to seeke at sharp.

The souldier, that man of iron,
Whom ribs of Horror all inviron,
That’s strung with Wire, instead of Veins,
In whose embraces you’re in chains,
Let a Magnetick girl appear,
Straight he turns Cupids Cuiraseer.
Love storms his lips, and takes the Fortresse in,
For all the Brisled Turn-pikes of his chin.

Since Loves Artillery then checks
The brest-works of the firmest sex,
Come let us in affections riot,
Th’are sickly pleasures keep a Diet:
Give me a lover bold and free,
Not Eunucht with formality;
Like an Embassadour that beds a Queen,
With the nice Caution of a sword between.

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