Last night I met an old friend for a couple of pints followed by an excellent Indian in the Gurkha Cottage. The conversation flowed and we moved from topic to topic. As so often happens we touched on poetry and my friend reminded me of the below poem, by Oliver Goldsmith
“WHEN lovely woman stoops to folly,
And finds too late that men betray,
What charm can soothe her melancholy,
What art can wash her guilt away?
The only art her guilt to cover,
To hide her shame from every eye,
To give repentance to her lover,
And wring his bosom, is — to die”.
On reaching home I leafed through my well thumbed copy of The New Oxford Book of English Verse and found the poem in question. I did a little more digging, using trusty old Google and ascertained that the verse is extracted from Oliver Goldsmith’s The Vicar of Wakefield and not (as I originally incorrectly surmised) from his She Stoops to Conquer. As always I hope you enjoyed the above.