Matthew Prior

1664 - 1721 / Dorset / England

To My Lord Buckhurst, Very Young, Playing With A Cat

The amorous youth, whose tender breast
Was by his darling Cat possest,
Obtain'd of Venus his desire,
Howe'er irregular his fire:
Nature the power of love obey'd,
The Cat became a blushing maid,
And on the happy change the boy
Employ'd his wonder and his joy.
Take care, O beauteous child, take care,
Lest thou prefer so rash a prayer,
Nor vainly hope the queen of love,
Will e'er thy favourite's charms improve.
O quickly from her shrine retreat,
Or tremble for thy darling's fate.
The queen of love, who soon will see
Her own Adonis live in thee,
Will lightly her first loss deplore,
Will easily forgive the boar:
Her eyes with tears no more will flow,
With jealous rage her breast will glow,
And on her tabby rival's face
She deep will mark a new disgrace.
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