Rakes & Libertines

Aphra Behn: The Libertine

A thousand martyrs I have made,
All sacrificed to my desire,
A thousand beauties have betrayed
That languish in resistless fire:
The untamed heart to hand I brought,
And fixed the wild and wand'ring thought.

I never vowed nor sighed in vain,
But both, though false, were well received;
The fair are pleased to give us pain,
And what they wish is soon believed:
And though I talked of wounds and smart,
Love's pleasures only touched my heart.

Alone the glory and the spoil
I always laughing bore away;
The triumphs without pain or toil,
Without the hell the heaven of joy;
And while I thus at random rove
Despise the fools that whine for love.

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Last updated 23.ix.00