“Upon the sight of a Fair Ladies Breech, discovered at her being turned over in a Coach”
Translated out of French.
I Yield, I yield, fair Phillis, now
My Heart must to your Empire bow;
I am your Pris’ner, for I find
Y’ave Conquered both my Will and Reason;
But you surprized me behind, 5
And is not that a kind of Treason?
Against your Eyes I plac’d a Guard,
And kept my Freedom, though ‘twere hard
Withstanding that most tempting Face;
When finding I again drew near, 10
You chang’d your Ambush, and did place
Your murthering Cupids in your Rear.
At this first sight my heart did yield,
For every glance did pierce my Shield:
The fairest Face it did outbid. 15
Could I resist my Fate, or Stars,
When this slye enemy lay hid
So close, and took me unawares?
It seiz’d me both with love and fear,
Seeing so many beauties there; 20
And brought me, fond fool, to that pass,
That, Persian-like, I straight did run,
Seeing your white Breech on the grass,
To adore that new-rising Sun.
Phoebus was glad to veil his eyes, 25
Finding that greater lustre rise;
And thought to steal away ere night,
Thinking his beams were useless now:
Which he had done, but that the sight
Staid him, in hopes to kiss it too. 30
The Satyrs much enamour’d were,
Beholding all the Graces there;
And Zephyrus espying too
Some other Charms, so lik’d them, that
Despight of all Flora could do, 35
He often kiss’d your You-know-what.
The Rose, the Flowers lovely Queen,
Droopt, when your fresher skin was seen:
Lilies lookt pale, and shed a tear:
Narcissus was brought to that pass, 40
He left his self-lov’d-Shade, and there
Gaz’d in your brighter Looking-glass.
Nor is there ought on earth so fair,
No Face that’s worthy its compare:
No Cheeks, no Lips, Eyes darting rays: 45
‘Mongst all those Beauties, there’s no grace
Nor Meen, but soon will loose its praise,
When your Breech but appears i’th’place.
‘Tis true, I fear’t has some defects
Will trouble me in these respects: 50
For it is very coy and shye,
Harder than the white Rock to break;
Nor hath it either Ear or Eye,
And’s very rarely heard to speak.
But so I love it, that my Verse 55
Shall to the World its praise rehearse;
Whilst dayly I will make resort
To pay my homage to this Queen,
Who leaves behind her this report
Of th’sweetest Beauty e’re was seen. 60
O hide it then from all but me,
For were’t unavail’d still, Gods would be
My Rivals, and desend anew;
Who (though they sit on Stars above)
They sit on meaner Thrones than you; 65
For your Breech is the Throne of Love.
Title Breech “The buttocks, posteriors, rump, seat” (OED).
1 Phillis “A pretty country girl; a female sweetheart” (OED).
12 murthering Murdering; Cupids Representation of the god of love as beautiful young boys (OED).
17 slye “Sly” (OED).
22 Persian-like A possible reference to withdrawal of the Persian Army and Navy from Greece toward the end of the Greco-Persian Wars in 479 BC (Encyclopedia Britannica).
25 Phoebus “Apollo as the god of light or of the sun; the sun personified” (OED).
21 Satyrs Part-man, part-beast demi-gods associated with Bacchus (OED).
32 Graces “The three beautiful sister goddesses the attendants of Aphrodite, regarded as the givers of beauty and charm” (OED).
33 Zephyrus “The west wind personified, or the god of the west wind” (OED).
35 Flora “In Latin mythology, the goddess of flowers” (OED). Married to Zephyrus.
36 You-know-what “Used in place of something the speaker is unable or does not care to specify” (OED). Here, the subject’s buttocks.
40 Narcissus “A beautiful youth who fell in love with his own reflection in water and pined to death” (OED).
47 Meen “Ceremonial forms viewed as the agency by which divine grace is imparted to the soul” (OED).
52 the white Rock “Chalk cliffs, spec. those of Dover, regarded as a symbol of Great Britain” (OED). The White Cliffs of Dover historically guarded England from outside invasion.
Source: A New Collection of Poems and Songs (London, 1674), pp. 117-120. [Google Books]
Edited by Echo Rowe