His Supposed Mistress

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If I freely can discover
What would please me in my lover,
    I would have her fair and witty,
    Savouring more of court than city;
    A little proud, but full of pity;
    Light and humourous in her toying;
    Oft building hopes, and soon destroying;
    Long, but sweet in the enjoying,
Neither too easy, nor too hard:
All extremes I would have barred.

She should be allowed her passions,
So they were but used as fashions;
    Sometimes froward, and then frowning,
    Sometimes sickish, and then swowning,
    Every fit with change still crowning.
    Purely jealous I would have her;
    Then only constant when I crave her,
    ’Tis a virtue should not save her.
Thus, nor her delicates would cloy me,
Neither her peevishness annoy me.

by Ben Johnson.

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