By Aphra Behn
This Little, Silent, Gloomy Monument,
Contains all that was sweet and innocent ;
The softest pratler that e’er found a Tongue,
His Voice was Musick and his Words a Song ;
Which now each List’ning Angel smiling hears,
Such pretty Harmonies compose the Spheres;
Wanton as unfledg’d Cupids, ere their Charms
Has learn’d the little arts of doing harms ;
Fair as young Cherubins, as soft and kind,
And tho translated could not be refin’d ;
The Seventh dear pledge the Nuptial Joys had given,
Toil’d here on Earth, retir’d to rest in Heaven ;
Where they the shining Host of Angels fill,
Spread their gay wings before the Throne, and smile.
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.
More By This Poet
A Thousand Martyrs
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...
Love in Fantastic Triumph sat,
Whilst Bleeding Hearts around him flowed,
For whom Fresh pains he did Create,
And strange Tyrannic power he showed;
From thy Bright Eyes he took his fire,
Which round about, in sport he hurled;
But ’twas from mine he took desire
More Poems about Living
What Women Are Made Of
We are all ventricle, spine, lung, larynx, and gut.
Clavicle and nape, what lies forked in an open palm;
we are follicle and temple. We are ankle, arch,
sole. Pore and rib, pelvis and root
and tongue. We are wishbone and gland and molar
Vagrants and Loiterers
You got that clean waistcoat,
the bright white of a well-tailored
shirt, you got those loose-as-sacks
slacks and some spit-polished shoes,
and you know, whether you are looking
like money, or about to take a stroll,
to tilt that hat like you own
the world; yeah, smoke...