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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Georgian Verse. 1909.

Fair Hebe

John West, Earl De La Warr (1693–1766)

FAIR Hebe I left, with a cautious design

To escape from her charms, and to drown them in wine,

I tried it; but found, when I came to depart,

The wine in my head, and still love in my heart.

I repaired to my Reason, intreated her aid;

Who paused on my case, and each circumstance weighed,

Then gravely pronounced, in return to my prayer,

‘That Hebe was fairest of all that was fair!’

‘That’s a truth,’ replied I, ‘I’ve no need to be taught;

I came for your counsel to find out a fault.’

‘If that’s all,’ quoth Reason, ‘return as you came;

To find fault with Hebe, would forfeit my name.’

What hopes then, alas! of relief from my pain;

While, like lightning, she darts through each throbbing vein!

My Senses surprised, in her favour took arms;

And Reason confirms me a slave to her charms.