A poem by Thomas Gent

Love!--what is love? a mere machine, a spring
For freaks fantastic, a convenient thing,
A point to which each scribbling wight most steer,
Or vainly hope for food or favour here;
A summer's sigh; a winter's wistful tale:
A sound at which th' untutor'd maid turns pale;
Her soft eyes languish, and her bosom heaves,
And Hope delights as Fancy's dream deceives.

Thus speaks the heart which cold disgust invades,
When time instructs, and Hope's enchantment fades;
Through life's wide stage, from sages down to kings,
The puppets move, as art directs the strings:
Imperious beauty bows to sordid gold,
Her smiles, whence heaven flows emanent, are sold;
And affectation swells th' entrancing tones,
Which nature subjugates, and truth disowns.

I love th' ingenuous maiden, practised not
To pierce the heart with ambush'd glances, shot
From eyelashes, whose shadowy length she knows
To a hair's point, their high arch when to close
Half o'er the swimming orb, and when to raise,
Disclosing all the artificial blaze
Of unfelt passion, which alone can move
Him whom the genuine eloquence of love
Affected never, won with wanton wiles,
With soulless sighs, and meretricious smiles;
By nature unimpress'd, uncharm'd by thee,
Sweet goddess of my heart, Simplicity!

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