" For, if with Modesty a Woman parts / She gains Contempt, when she wou'd conquer Hearts."

— Oldmixon, John (1672/3-1742)

Place of Publication
Printed, and are to be Sold by John Nutt [etc.]
" For, if with Modesty a Woman parts / She gains Contempt, when she wou'd conquer Hearts."
Metaphor in Context
As one that fain wou'd grant, and fain denie,
I doubtful what I ought to do, reply,
My Sexes weakness I in this declare,
And yielding to a Treaty, yield too far.
For Love may turn the favour to offence,
And wrest my meaning to a guilty sense.
Of utmost caution have we Women need,
To Write what Lovers with design will Read.
Not always silence can preserve our Fame,
And every look's perverted to our shame.
While in our breasts our hidden thoughts remain,
The Tongue of flander shews its sting in vain.
But once declar'd, she seizes 'em as prize,
And wounds our Virtue with invenom'd lyes.
Resolv'd to Write, and fearing what to send,
I wish, before I will begin, to end.
Respect, when I wou'd finish, bids me stay,
And my Heart tells me I have more to say.
Some secret which I tremble to confess,
And Words too little or too much express.
What I wou'd say, I feign as said to thee,
Then fancy what thou wouldst reply to me.
The fairest prospect of thy cause I view,
And then consider what's to honour due.
A thousand things in your excuse I frame,
Your cause is weak, and my defence the same.
A Prince, a Hero courts me I confess,
Your worth in this is more, and mine the less.
Your Bed's for me a too exalted place,
My Subject fortune will the Throne disgrace.
For this alone I should your vows reprove,
In me 'tis Treason to accept your love.
Each Sex in love their priviledge may use,
'Tis Man's to tempt, and Woman's to refuse
We ne'er without our own consent are won,
And ne'er can be but by ourselves undone.
You of your love and your success may boast,
Who blames the Lover when the Maid is lost.
'Tis brave in you our Innocence to try
In us, when Woo'd 'tis glorious to deny.
The Crime in you, is by the Crime excus'd,
We censur'd most, when we are most abus'd.
'Tis Beauties high Prerogative to grant;
It shou'd not beg, for it can nothing want.
We shou'd no Hearts by wanton Arts surprize,
Nor shoot pernicious Glances with our Eyes;
For, if with Modesty a Woman parts
She gains Contempt, when she wou'd conquer Hearts.

In Henry, and John's misfortune, you
May learn to shun the Evil you persue.
To you their Story shou'd a Lesson be,
And the fair Virgins, whom they wrong'd, to me.
The Father, when he had his Mistris won,
His Mistris blames, Matilda blames the Son.
Your Lordly Sex is Accessary still,
And our's condemn'd as Principals in Ill:
What praise can we but by our Vertue claim?
We lose our Merit, when we lose our Fame.
This Fortress we our selves can best defend,
Which ne'er is lost but by the Force we lend:
Shou'd Malice strive our Innocence to wrong,
True to our selves, she cou'd not hurt us long.
To your Invasions, when we basely yield,
The shame is ours, and yours the glory of the Field.
The hope of Nations, Edward now is stil'd;
But your Renown, will by your Love be soil'd.
Where (will the Realms in vile derison say)
Is the young Hero we must once obey?
Where he, that conquer'd in the Gallick Plains,
Subdu'd their Chiefs, and led their Kings in Chains:
Has he forsook the noble Chace of Arms,
To wast his Fortune on a Womans Charms?
Can Victory no more his Soul inspire,
And melts he softly in a wanton Fire?
Is he, who dealt in France a thousand Wounds,
And bound her Monarchs, led himself in Bonds?
Twice to the Bridal Altar I've been led:
Two Lords successively injoy'd my Bed.
The waster time my Charms must have destroy'd:
The Beauty wear that has been twice injoy'd.
For a young Prince, is this a worthy Store
Of which two Subjects were possest before.
Let France or Spain their Princesses prefer,
To make you happy, and your Empire share
With you, They come from an Imperial Line,
And nothing can you see to tempt in mine;
For me the Royal Station's to sublime,
And e'en to please you were in me a Crime.
Though for my life I must your Suit deny,
Yet rather than not love you I cou'd dye.
My noble Lord, to tell me, wou'd delight,
The wonders he has seen you do in Fight.
No Mothers Voice, when with her Babe she plays,
Like his, cou'd Flatter, in his Princes praise.
I catcht the Musick from his charming Tongue:
My ravisht Soul on every Accent hung.
I curst the minutes that they roul'd so fast,
And wisht the darling Theam wou'd ever last.
No harmony so moving to the Ear,
And he as fond to speak as I to hear:
To ev'ry word with pleasure I attend,
And heard him, with regret, his Story end.
On you, whene're he talkt the Subject, fell,
And I prais'd him for praising you so well.
Must I now loath what I have lov'd so long.
And fear from such a Prince the greatest wrong?
Yes! I must hate you, and cou'd almost swear
You'l hate your self, when you your fault shall hear.
Consider Time will cool your hot desire,
Or Reason quench at last the raging Fire.
By you, and Justice, let my Cause be try'd,
And if I am not injur'd then decide.
In vain my Father, Reverend by his years,
Beg'd me to yield, and deign'd to beg with Tears.
In vain persuasion sooth'd me to comply,
Twas Sin to grant, and Merit to deny.
My Mother boldly both your Pray'rs withstood,
And with her Frowns restrain'd your boiling Blood;
Aw'd by her Vertue, of her Frowns afraid
To try my weakness, you a while delay'd.
How faithfully I love you, I have shown,
Your Honour, in preserving, with my own.
Had your base wishes in your Suit prevail'd;
Or had I, foolish, in my Duty fail'd:
You wou'd not guiltless to the World have prov'd;
But been as much abhor'd as you're belov'd.
Against you, thus the Nations would have said,
Her Parents sin must to his charge be laid.
To save her Life she sacrific'd her Fame,
And gain'd her dear bought Liberty with shame.
Did our strong Castle vail her lofty Fanes,
To your bright Ensigns on the Northern Plains?
When your shril Trumpets eccoh'd from a far,
Did I, with joy return the sound of War?
Did I receive you as my Soveraign Lord,
To perish by your Lust, who triumph'd by your Sword?
The Foe, that for the Treasure came, is fled,
And left a Foe more dangerous in his stead,
The vanquisht Enemy for Plunder came:
The Victor Edward to attack my Fame.
Ready to fly the Scot begirt me round;
Bent on my ruin you maintain your ground.
How cou'd I here reproach you, but respect
Restrains my anger. that cou'd much reflect.
A Princess name I neither court nor slight,
Nor am ambitious of your Consort's Right;
Nor wou'd I study by deceitful Lures
To get that Title, or to make me yours.
Too humble in my own esteem, I ne'r
To such a height could one so low prefer.
Happy if I obtain'd a second place
To wait on her, that shou'd deserve your grace;
Yet, if my Prince shall nothing ill require,
And safely I may yield to his desire.
If he no more will of my Bounty want
Than he may well demand, and I may grant?
If in due bounds he will his Youth confine,
Let all his wishes be as Chast as mine.
I'll plight the Faith which I from him receive,
And what he freely asks, will freely give.
Searching "conque" and "heart" in HDIS (Poetry)
Date of Entry

The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.