To a Lady
She Refusing to Continue a Dispute With Me, and Leaving Me in the Argument

Spare, generous victor, spare the slave,
     Who did unequal war pursue;
That more than triumph he might have,
     In being overcome by you.

In the dispute whate'er I said,
     My heart was by my tongue belied;
And in my looks you might have read
     How much I argued on your side.

You, far from danger as from fear,
     Might have sustained an open fight:
For seldom your opinions err:
     Your eyes are always in the right.

Why, fair one, would you not rely
     On reason's force with beauty's joined?
Could I their prevalence deny,
      I must at once be deaf and blind.

Alas! not hoping to subdue,
      I only to the fight aspired:
To keep the beauteous foe in view
     Was all the glory I desired.

But she, howe'er of victory sure.
     Contemns the wreath too long delayed;
And, armed with more immediate power,
     Calls cruel silence to her aid.

Deeper to wound, she shuns the fight:
     She drops her arms, to gain the field:
Secures her conquest by her flight;
     And triumphs, when she seems to yield.

So when the Parthian turned his steed,
     And from the hostile camp withdrew;
With cruel skill the backward reed
     He sent; and as he fled, he slew.