A Philosophical Satire

She proves the inconsistency of the caprice and criticism of men who accuse women of what they cause
Misguided men, who will chastise
a woman when no blame is due,
oblivious that it is you
who prompted what you criticize;
if your passions are so strong
that you elicit their disdain,
how can you wish that they refrain
when you incite them to their wrong?
You strive to topple their defense,
and then, with utmost gravity,
you credit sensuality
for what was won with diligence.
Your daring must be qualified,
your sense is no less senseless than
the child who calls the boogeyman,
then weeps when he is terrified.
Your mad presumption knows no bounds,
though for a wife you want Lucrece,
in lovers you prefer Thais,
thus seeking blessings to compound.
If knowingly one clouds a mirror
--was ever humor so absurd
or good counsel so obscured?--
can he iament that it's not clearer?
From either favor or disdain
the selfsame purpose you achieve,
if they love, they are deceived,
if they love not, hear you complain.
There is no woman suits your taste,
though circumspection be her virtue:
ungrateful, she who does not love you,
yet she who does, you judge unchaste.
You men are such a foolish breed,
appraising with a faulty rule,
the first you charge with being cruel,
the second, easy, you decree.
So how can she be temperate,
the one who would her love expend?
if not willing, she offends,
but willing, she infuriates.
Amid the anger and torment
your whimsy causes you to bear,
one may be found who does not care:
how quickly then is grievance vent.
So lovingly you inflict pain
that inhibitions fly away;
how, after leading them astray,
can you wish them without stain?
Who does the greater guilt incur
when a passion is misleading?
She who errs and heeds his pleading,
or he who pleads with her to err?
Whose is the greater guilt therein
when either's conduct may dismay:
she who sins and takes the pay,
or he who pays her for the sin?
Why for sins you're guilty of,
do you, amazed, your blame debate?
Either love what you create
or else create what you can love.
Were not it better to forbear,
and thus, with finer motivation,
obtain the unforced admiration
of her you plotted to ensnare?
But no, I deem you still will revel
in pour arms and arrogance, 
and in promise and persistence 
adjoin flesh and world and devil.