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The Gift

TO IRIS, IN BOW STREET, CONVENT GARDEN



SAY, cruel IRIS, pretty rake,
Dear mercenary beauty,
What annual offering shall I make,
Expressive of my duty?

My heart, a victim to thine eyes, 5
Should I at once deliver,
Say, would the angry fair one prize
The gift, who slights the giver?

A bill, a jewel, watch, or toy,
My rivals give--and let 'em; 10
If gems, or gold, impart a joy,
I'll give them--when I get 'em.

I'll give--but not the full-blown rose,
Or rose-bud more in fashion;
Such short-liv'd offerings but disclose 15
A transitory passion.

I'll give thee something yet unpaid,
Not less sincere, than civil:
I'll give thee--Ah! too charming maid,
I'll give thee--To the devil. 20


Oliver Goldsmith