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CLOSE / Parnassiad

Peace and Other Stories

Fragments of a Formerly Active Sex Life

A Love Poem from a Physician to His Mistress
by Jonathan Swift  /  poetry  /  5 Nov 2007


By poets we are well assured
That love, alas! can ne'er be cured;
A complicated heap of ills,
Despising boluses and pills.
Ah! Chloe, this I find is true,
Since first I gave my heart to you.
Now, by your cruelty hard bound,
I strain my guts, my colon wound.
Now jealousy my grumbling tripes
Assaults with grating, grinding gripes.
When pity in those eyes I view,
My bowels wambling make me spew.
When I an amorous kiss design'd,
I belch'd a hurricane of wind.
Once you a gentle sigh let fall;
Remember how I suck'd it all;
What colic pangs from thence I felt,
Had you but known, your heart would melt,
Like ruffling winds in cavern pent,
Till Nature pointed out a vent.
How have you torn my heart to pieces
With maggots, humours, and caprices!
By which I got the hemorrhoids;
And loathsome worms my anus voids.
Whene'er I hear a rival named,
I feel my body all inflamed;
Which, breaking out in boils and blains,
With yellow filth my linen stains;
Or, parch'd with unextinguish'd thirst,
Small-beer I guzzle till I burst;
And then I drag a bloated corpus,
Swell'd with a dropsy, like a porpus;
When, if I cannot purge or stale,
I must be tapp'd to fill a pail.

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