An Ode

By Matthew Prior 1664–1721 Matthew Prior
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.

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Poet Matthew Prior 1664–1721

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Augustan

Subjects Love, Realistic & Complicated

 Matthew  Prior

Biography

Matthew Prior was the most important poet writing in England between the death of John Dryden (1700) and the poetic maturity of Alexander Pope (about 1712). A significant influence on British and German poetry throughout the eighteenth century, Prior had an effect on several different forms: long philosophical poems either serious or half-mocking, Horatian imitations, psychologically realistic tales, and polished, metrical songs . . .

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Poems by Matthew Prior

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Realistic & Complicated

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Augustan

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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