To Chloe Jealous

Original Text: 
Matthew Prior, Poems on Several Occasions (London: J. Tonson and J. Barber, 1718). F-10 499 Fisher Rare Book Library
1Dear Chloe, how blubber'd is that pretty face;
2    Thy cheek all on fire, and thy hair all uncurl'd:
4    Let us e'en talk a little like folks of this world.
5How canst thou presume, thou hast leave to destroy
6    The beauties, which Venus but lent to thy keeping?
7Those looks were design'd to inspire love and joy:
8    More ord'nary eyes may serve people for weeping.
9To be vext at a trifle or two that I writ,
10    Your judgment at once, and my passion you wrong:
11You take that for fact, which will scarce be found wit:
12    Odds life! must one swear to the truth of a song?
13What I speak, my fair Chloe, and what I write, shows
14    The diff'rence there is betwixt nature and art:
15I court others in verse; but I love thee in prose:
16    And they have my whimsies, but thou hast my heart.
17The god of us verse-men (you know, child) the Sun,
19If at morning o'er earth 'tis his fancy to run;
21So when I am wearied with wand'ring all day,
22    To thee my delight in the evening I come:
23No matter what beauties I saw in my way;
24    They were but my visits, but thou art my home.
25Then finish, dear Chloe, this pastoral war;
27For thou art a girl as much brighter than her,
28    As he was a poet sublimer than me.


3] Cf. II Henry IV, V.iii.96. Back to Line
18] Sun: Phoebus, god of both the sun and poetry. Back to Line
20] Thetis: a goddess of the sea. Back to Line
26] Cf. Horace, Odes, III, xxii. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
N. J. Endicott
RPO Edition: 
2RP.1.525; RPO 1996-2000.