Tag Archives: Anacreontic couplets

Anonymous, “Thoughts on Life”



 LIFE! thou dead, deceitful guest!
Precious trifle! ferious jest!
Drawn by thee, we roam below,
Pilgrims, thro’ a vale of woe:
Toiling or by land or seas,                                         5
Strangers to the balm of ease!
Slaves to pleasure, tumult, gain,
O thou bitter–sweet to man!
In thy train, thy belt of friends,
Hope, fallacious fair! attends;                                  10
Hope, a thin, a shad’wy elf!
Hope, true image of thyself;
When against thy pow’r we rise,
Rous’d to rage, to mutinies!
When we aim the fatal stroke,                                 15
Ready to throw off thy yoke;
She the lifted hand arrests,
Fills with food of courts our breasts;
Anew we own our former lord,
To thee, and to ourselves, restor’d.                         20


2 ferious Variant of “furious.”

7 tumult “Commotion of a multitude, usually with confused speech or uproar; public disturbance; disorderly or riotous proceeding” (OED).

10 fallacious “Deceptive, misleading” (OED).

11 Shad’wy elf A “wandering spirit; a devil” (Johnson).

16 yoke “A bond; a mark of servitude; slavery” (Johnson).

 Source: The Gentleman’s Magazine, (December 1744), p. 671.

Edited by Henry Bettencourt

Anonymous, “Song for an Amazon…”


 “SONG for an AMAZON
Intended to have been sung after the complaining
Pastoral Ballad in Comus”

 Swains I scorn, who, nice and fair,
Shiver at the morning air,
Rough and hardy, bold and free,
Be the man that’s made for me.

Slaves to fashion, slaves to dress,                               5
Fops themselves alone caress,
Let them without rival be,
They are not the men for me.

He whose nervous arm can dart,
The javelin to the tyger’s heart,                                  10
From all sense of danger free,
He’s the man that’s made for me.

While his speed outstrips the wind,
Lovely wave his locks behind,
From his fantastic foppery free,                                 15
He’s the man that’s made for me.

Nor simpering smile, nor dimple sleek
Spoil his manly sun-burnt cheek,
By weather let him painted be,
He’s the man that’s made for me                                20

If false he prove my javelin can
Revenge the perjury of man,
And soon another, brave as he,
Shall be found the man for me.


 Title Comus A masque written by John Milton (1608-1674), first performed in 1634 and published in 1637.

1 Swains Young lovers or suitors.

6 Fops Men overly concerned with their appearance.

17 sleek “(Of hair, fur, or skin) smooth and glossy” (OED).

22 perjury “The offense of willfully telling an untruth in a court after having taken an oath or affirmation” (OED).

Source: The Gentleman’s Magazine (January 1741), p. 45.

Edited by Robin Jang