Swift’s Poems to Stella


I’ve been thinking about Swift’s birthday poem to Stella, this one is my favourite,

Stella this day is thirty-four.

(We shan’t dispute a year or more:

However, Stella, be not troubled,

Although thy size and years are doubled

Since first I saw thee at sixteen,

The brightest virgin on the green;

So little is thy form declined;

Made up so largely in thy mind.

O, would it please the gods to split

Thy beauty, size, and years, and wit!

No age could furnish out a pair

Of nymphs so graceful, wise, and fair;

With half the lustre of your eyes,

With half your wit, your years, and size.

And then, before it grew too late,

How should I beg of gentle fate,

(That either nymph might have her swain,)

To split my worship too in twain.



These poems are so much nicer that some of his others, for instance ‘The Lady’s Dressing Room’


About nicdempsey

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