Ode to a Poetess

In A.D. 1689, Miss Aphra Behn passed on at forty-eight
of amatory-itis, which is to say she died of death,
that is, of loving life too much.

She got it.
She lived, she said, a life of poetry and pleasure
where charming and inspired shepherds
and joyful yielding nymphs were free
to pursue their passions,
and even Inhibition knew life far too short to stint
She asked her darling Sylvia: [When you are dead,]
What will your duller honor signify?
and, to further press her case,
The sun and Spring receive but our short light,
Once set, a sleep brings an eternal night
(this a recurring sentiment among the plumbing sentient)

Miss B a rover and a spy
She wrote of rakes, adventure and intrigue
in times of plague and fire and deadly war
and time in English debtor’s prison
She lived.

Miss Woolf suggested flowers for her grave
(she gave, she said, her sex the right to speak its mind)
What was she like? We see her curled confidence
her open chest, her dressy dress
While in her work, we wis her Wit

But then she died, despite of It.
She said (again to make the point):
When the fresh roses on your cheeks shall die…
Eternally they will forgotten lie

Carpe diem was her mantra
she lived, she said, a life of poetry and pleasure.

* * *

Leave a Reply