National Poetry Month 2015: Day 27, Aphra Behn

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A Thousand Martyrs

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.

Adura Onashile plays Angelica in The Rover. Photograph: Graham Michael/Southwark Playhouse

Adura Onashile plays Angelica in The Rover. Photograph: Graham Michael/Southwark Playhouse

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