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Madam Gabrina Or the Ill-favourd Choice

Con mala Muger el remedio Mucha Tierra por el medio.

I have oft wondred why thou didst elect Thy Mistress of a stuff none could affect,

That wore his eyes in the right place.

A thing Made up, when Natures powers lay slumbering.

One, where all pregnant imperfections met To make her sexes scandal:

Teeth of jet,

Hair dy'd in Orpment, from whose fretful hew Canidia her highest Witch-crafts drew.

A lip most thin and pale, but such a mouth Which like the Poles is stretched North and South.

A face so colour'd, and of such a form,

As might defiance bid unto a storm:

And the complexion of her sallow hide Like a wrack't body washt up by the Tyde:

Eyes small: a nose so to her vizard glew'd As if 'twould take a Planets altitude.

Last for her breath, 'tis somewhat like the smell That does in Ember weeks on Fishstreet dwell;

Or as a man should fasting scent the Rose Which in the savoury Bear-garden growes.

If a Fox cures the Paralyticall,

Had'st thou ten Palsies, she'd out-stink them all.

But I have found thy plot: sure thou did'st trie To put thy self past hope of jealousie:

And whil'st unlearned fools the senses please,

Thou cur'st thy appetite by a disease;

As many use to kill an itch withall,

Quicksilver or some biting Minerall.

Dote upon handsome things each common man With little study and less labour can;

But to make love to a Deformity,

Onely commends thy great ability,

Who from hard-favour'd objects draw'st content,

As Estriches from iron nutriment.

Well take her, and like mounted George, in bed Boldly archieve thy Dragons Maiden-head:

Where (though scarce sleep) thou mayst rest confident None dares beguile thee of thy punishment:

The sin were not more foul he should commit,

Then is that She with whom he acted it.

Yet take this comfort: when old age shall raze,

Or sickness ruine many a good face,

Thy choice cannot impair; no cunning curse Can mend that night-peece, that is, make her worse.

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Henry King

Henry King (1592 – 30 September 1669) was an English poet who served as Bishop of Chichester.

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