Henry King

Here you will find the Poem Madam Gabrina, Or the Ill-favourd Choice of poet Henry King

Madam Gabrina, Or the Ill-favourd Choice

Con mala Muger el remedio 
Mucha Tierra por el medio. 

I have oft wondred why thou didst elect 
Thy Mistress of a stuff none could affect, 
That wore his eyes in the right place. A thing 
Made up, when Natures powers lay slumbering. 
One, where all pregnant imperfections met 
To make her sexes scandal: Teeth of jet, 
Hair dy'd in Orpment, from whose fretful hew 
Canidia her highest Witch-crafts drew. 
A lip most thin and pale, but such a mouth 
Which like the Poles is stretched North and South. 
A face so colour'd, and of such a form, 
As might defiance bid unto a storm: 
And the complexion of her sallow hide 
Like a wrack't body washt up by the Tyde: 
Eyes small: a nose so to her vizard glew'd 
As if 'twould take a Planets altitude. 
Last for her breath, 'tis somewhat like the smell 
That does in Ember weeks on Fishstreet dwell; 
Or as a man should fasting scent the Rose 
Which in the savoury Bear-garden growes. 
If a Fox cures the Paralyticall, 
Had'st thou ten Palsies, she'd out-stink them all. 
But I have found thy plot: sure thou did'st trie 
To put thy self past hope of jealousie: 
And whil'st unlearned fools the senses please, 
Thou cur'st thy appetite by a disease; 
As many use to kill an itch withall, 
Quicksilver or some biting Minerall. 
Dote upon handsome things each common man 
With little study and less labour can; 
But to make love to a Deformity, 
Onely commends thy great ability, 
Who from hard-favour'd objects draw'st content, 
As Estriches from iron nutriment. 
Well take her, and like mounted George, in bed 
Boldly archieve thy Dragons Maiden-head: 
Where (though scarce sleep) thou mayst rest confident 
None dares beguile thee of thy punishment: 
The sin were not more foul he should commit, 
Then is that She with whom he acted it. 
Yet take this comfort: when old age shall raze, 
Or sickness ruine many a good face, 
Thy choice cannot impair; no cunning curse 
Can mend that night-peece, that is, make her worse.