Swift’s Poems to Stella

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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.

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

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About nicdempsey

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