by William Congreve (1670 - 1729)

A nymph and a swain to Apollo once...
Language: English 
A nymph and a swain to Apollo once prayed,
The swain had been jilted, the nymph been betrayed:
Their intent was to try if his oracle knew
E'er a nymph that was chaste, or a swain that was true.

Apollo was mute, and had like t'have been [posed]1,
But sagely at length he this secret disclosed:
"He alone won't betray in whom none will confide:
And the nymph may be chaste that has never been tried."

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Confirmed with The Best Plays of the Old Dramatists. William Congreve., Unexpurgated Edition, London : Vizetelly & Co., 1888, page 245.

1 Eccles: "pos'd"


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This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 8
Word count: 76