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By Aphra Behn

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 wandering 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 heav’n of joy.

And while I thus at random rove

Despise the fools that whine for love.


  • Love

Poet Bio

Aphra Behn
Aphra Behn was the first English woman to earn her living as a writer. Her fiction — including a work critical of slavery — is often political and her plays are frequently bawdy. She sometimes scandalized her audience, but her work broke new literary ground and sold well. See More By This Poet

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