The Gift (To Iris, In Bow Street, Covent Garden)
Poem By Oliver Goldsmith
SAY, cruel IRIS, pretty rake,
Dear mercenary beauty,
What annual offering shall I make,
Expressive of my duty?
My heart, a victim to thine eyes,
Should I at once deliver,
Say, would the angry fair one prize
The gift, who slights the giver?
A bill, a jewel, watch, or toy,
My rivals give-and let 'em;
If gems, or gold, impart a joy,
I'll give them-when I get 'em.
I'll give-but not the full-blown rose,
Or rose-bud more in fashion;
Such short-liv'd offerings but disclose
A transitory passion.
I'll give thee something yet unpaid,
Not less sincere, than civil:
I'll give thee-Ah! too charming maid,
I'll give thee-To the devil.