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Charles Cotton
Two Rural Sisters


Alice is tall and upright as a pine,
White as blanched almonds, or the falling snow,
Sweet as the damask roses when they blow,
And doubtless fruitful as the swelling vine.
Ripe to be cut, and ready to be pressed,
Her full cheeked beauties very well appear,
And a year's fruit she loses every year,
Wanting a a man to improve her to the best.

Full fain she would be husbanded, and yet,
Alas! she cannot a fit labourer get
To cultivate her own content:
Fain she would be (God wot) about her task,
And yet (forsooth) she is too proud to ask,
And (which is worse) too modest to consent.

Margaret is of humbler stature by the head
Is (as oft oft falls out with yellow hair)
Than her fair sister, yet so much more fair,
As her pure white is better mixed with red.
This, hotter than the other ten to one,
Longs to be put into her mother's trade,
And loud proclaims she lives too long a maid,
Wishing for one t'untie her virgin zone.

She finds virginity a kind of ware,
That's very very troublesome to bear,
And being gone, she thinks will ne'er be missed:
And yet withal, the girl has so much grace,
To call for help I know she wants the face,
Though asked, I know not how she would resist.



Love is, above all, the gift of oneself. - Jean Anouilh,

When I am sad and weary. When I think all hope has gone.
When I walk along High Holborn, I think of you with nothing on

Adrian Mitchell

Those have most power to hurt us that we love. - Francis Beaumont

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