The Poem Reader
The Poem Reader
Upon Leaving His Mistress

Upon Leaving His Mistress

John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester

‘Tis not that I am weary grown
Of being yours, and yours alone,
But with what face can I incline
To damn you to be only mine?
You, whom some kinder power did fashion
By merit and by inclination
The joy at least of a whole nation.

Let meaner spirits of your sex
With humble aims their thoughts perplex,
And boast if by their arts they can
Contrive to make one happy man;
While moved by an impartial sense
Favours, like Nature, you dispense
With universal influence.

See the kind seed-receiving earth
To every grain affords a birth:
On her no showers unwelcome fall,
Her willing womb retains 'em all,
And shall my Caelia be confined?
No, live up to thy mighty mind,
And be the mistress of Mankind!

The Poem Reader
The Poem Reader
For lovers of language. Every week a new poem read aloud.
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Dominic Frisby