written by Anna Wickham
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(The Woman and the Philosopher)
What shall I do, most pleasing man?
I will delight you if I can.
Shall I be silent? Shall I speak?
Since I love quick, I'll show that I am weak:
I'll say the wisest strangest thing I know
That you may smile at vanity, and love me so.
How can her wisdom flourish and endure
When her philosophy is but a lure,
And to the arsenal of charm is brought
The ammunition of her thought?
I count her breathing as I sit;
I love her mouth, but disregard her wit.
More than love, and more than other pleasure
I desire thrilling combat of the wit.
As far as I can measure
This man is rare, and therefore fit
To be a combatant. Let me say one thing new
That I may gauge him so, to prove my judgment true.
Sir, it is just I own
That I am overthrown,
And I take strange delight
That I am beaten so to-night.
Madam, you are a sensualist,
And, being such, you shall be kissed.
What husbandry is this?
What thrift, that we should kiss
On the first night we meet?
What is your need to eat the seed,
When growth might be so sweet?
From this first pleasure that you sow in me
It is my power to raise a gracious tree.
And, maybe, I will give you a kind grove
Where you may sit through sunny days, and love.
This answer, which is rare,
Is luring as your hair.
I go from you this night in pain,
But, Madam, I will come again.
Dreams, dreams, stay with me till I sleep,
Then let oblivion steep
My senses in forgetfulness,
That when I wake, I may forget my loneliness.
|Works by this author are in the public domain in countries where the copyright term is the author's life plus 69 years or less.|