Matthew Prior: An Ode

THE merchant, to secure his treasure,
Conveys it in a borrowed name:
Euphelia serves to grace my measure,
But Cloe is my real flame.

My softest verse, my darling lyre
Upon Euphelia’s toilet lay—
When Cloe noted her desire
That I should sing, that I should play.

My lyre I tune, my voice I raise,
But with my numbers mix my sighs;
And whilst I sing Euphelia’s praise,
I fix my soul on Cloe’s eyes.

Fair Cloe blushed; Euphelia frowned:
I sung, and gazed; I played, and trembled:
And Venus to the Loves around
Remarked how ill we all dissembled.


First published in Poems on Several Occasions, 1709.

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