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By All Love's Soft, Yet Mighty Powers

John Wilmot 1647 (Ditchley, Oxfordshire) – 1680 (Woodstock, Oxfordshire)



By all love's soft, yet mighty powers,
It is a thing unfit,
That men should f*ck in time of flowers,
Or when the smock's beshit.

Fair nasty nymph, be clean and kind,
And all my joys restore;
By using paper still behind,
And sponges for before.

My spotless flames can ne'er decay,
If after every close,
My smoking prick escape the fray,
Without a bloody nose.

If thou would have me true, be wise,
And take to cleanly sinning,
None but fresh lovers' pricks can rise,
At Phyllis in foul linen.
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Submitted on August 03, 2020

29 sec read
24

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABAB CDCD EXEX FXFX
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 484
Words 94
Stanzas 4
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4, 4

John Wilmot

John Wilmot (1 April 1647 – 26 July 1680) was an English poet and courtier of King Charles II's Restoration court. The Restoration reacted against the "spiritual authoritarianism" of the Puritan era. Rochester embodied this new era, and he became as well known for his rakish lifestyle as his poetry, although the two were often interlinked. He died as a result of venereal disease at the age of 33. Rochester was described by his contemporary Andrew Marvell as "the best English satirist," and he is generally considered to be the most considerable poet and the most learned among the Restoration wits. His poetry was widely censored during the Victorian era, but enjoyed a revival from the 1920s onwards, with reappraisals from noted literary figures such as Graham Greene and Ezra Pound. The critic Vivian de Sola Pinto linked Rochester's libertinism to Hobbesian materialism. During his lifetime, Rochester was best known for A Satyr Against Reason and Mankind, and it remains among his best-known works today.  more…

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    "By All Love's Soft, Yet Mighty Powers" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 3 Feb. 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/55983/by-all-love%27s-soft%2C-yet-mighty-powers>.

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