An Olio Dressed for Nature’s Dinner


Life takes a young and tender lover’s heart
That hunted was, and struck2 by Cupid’s dart,
Then sets it on3 the fire of love, and blows
That fire with sighs, by which the flame high grows,
And boils it with the water of fresh tears,                            5
Flings in a bunch of hope, desires, and fears.
More sprigs of passions4 throws into the pot,
Then takes it off5 when it is seething hot,
And puts it in a clean dish of delight,
That scoured was from envy and from spite.                      10
Then doth she press and squeeze in juice of youth,
And casts6 therein some sugar of sweet truth.
Sharp melancholy gives a quick’ning taste,
And temperance doth cause it long to last.
Then she with smiles doth garnish it7 and dress,               15
And serves it up, a fair and beauteous mess.
But Nature’s apt to surfeit of this meat,
Which makes that she doth seldom of it8 eat.

  1. An Olio Dressed for Nature’s Dinner] Meat drest for Natures Dinner; an Ollio for Nature. 1653
  2. struck] wound 1653
  3. Then sets it on] Sets it upon 1664, 1668
  4. passions] Passion 1653
  5. off] up, 1653
  6. casts] cast 1653
  7. she with smiles doth garnish it] doth she garnish it with Smiles, 1653
  8. that she doth seldom of it] her seldome of the same to 1653