1Who can but pity this poor turtledove,
2Which was so kind and constant to her love?
3And, since his death, his loss
4For his dear sake she’ll never
wanton blood doth nimbly flow,
6Warmed with the spring, hers then runs cool and slow.
Nor Valentine, though ’tis a tempting tide,
8Can make her
her chaste resolve’s aside—
9Not like that wanton and
one, a second, and a third,
Like that prodigious, bedlam, Belgic beast,
a score of husbands at the least:
thralldom she deserves to have,
14Who, being freed so oft, would be a slave!
Shame of her sex! O, let her loathéd name
16Be ne’er enrolléd in the
book of fame;
18Be still remembered to her endless glory.
Annas sure have been,
20But in this age of ours, few such are seen.
21Then, ladies, imitate this turtledove,
22And constant be unto one only love.
23Then if your husbands
rant it high, and
24Be sure you double not their guilt and shame!
Hyde Park, Hanes,
Oxford John’s and Kate
Spring, Mulberry Garden: let them
have a date.
27Buy not these follies at so
dear a rate.
28These places, I know only by their names,
29But ’tis these places which do blast your
30Who would with their dear reputation part
31To eat a
scurvy cheescake or a tart?
32For such poor follies who abroad would roam?
33Have we not better every day at home?
34They say, to plays and taverns some do go;
35I say, no modest ladies will do so.
36Though countess, duchess, or
Those places haunt, their follies run not after.
38Be modest then, and follow mine advice:
39You’ll find that virtue’s pleasanter than vice.
anchorites I would not have you turn,
halcyons, nor be your
42But chastely live, and rather spend your days
43In setting forth your great Creator’s praise;
44And, for diversion, pass your idle times
45As I do now, in writing harmless rhymes.
46Then, for your honors’ and your fair souls’ sake,
47Both my example and my counsel take.
In fine, love God, the fountain of all good,
49Next those ahead by marriage, grace, and blood,
50To let’s live here, in chaste and virtuous love,
As we’ll go on eternally above.
52Then O, my God, assist me with Thy grace,
53That, when I die, I may but change my place.