To a Child of Quality, Five Years Old, the Author Suppos'd Forty
John Dryden, ed., Miscellany, Vol. 5 (London: Jacob Tonson, 1704). B-11 815 Fisher Rare Book Library
1Lords, knights, and squires, the num'rous band,
2 That wear the fair Miss Mary's fetters,
3Were summon'd by her high command,
4 To show their passions by their letters.
5My pen amongst the rest I took,
6 Lest those bright eyes that cannot read
7Should dart their kindling fires, and look
8 The pow'r they have to be obey'd.
9Nor quality, nor reputation,
10 Forbid me yet my flame to tell,
11Dear Five-years-old befriends my passion,
12 And I may write till she can spell.
13For while she makes her silk-worms beds
14 With all the tender things I swear;
15Whilst all the house my passion reads,
16 In papers round her baby's hair;
17She may receive and own my flame,
18 For though the strictest prudes should know it,
19She'll pass for a most virtuous dame,
20 And I for an unhappy poet.
21Then too, alas! when she shall tear
22 The lines some younger rival sends;
23She'll give me leave to write, I fear,
24 And we shall still continue friends.
25For as our different ages move,
26 'Tis so ordain'd (would Fate but mend it)
27That I shall be past making love,
28 When she begins to comprehend it.
Publication Start Year:
RPO poem Editors:
N. J. Endicott
2RP.1.524; RPO 1996-2000.