“A rather dull love-poem,” this is, although it possesses some wholly unexpected nuance:
Tell me, Eutresia, since my fate
And thy more powerfull Forme decrees
My heart an Immolation at thy Shrine,
. . .
Who is Eutresia? What is she? Who the heck knows?
In the “Notes on the Text” in the back of the book (516), [Peter] Davidson records that some manuscripts call the addressee “Eutresia”, at least one “Utrechia”. The note below the text reads: “1 Eutresia ‘Utrechia’ MS (Greek) ‘beautiful hair’”, which is a bit confusing: which name is supposed to mean “beautiful hair”? Could “Utrechia” be meant for “Eutrichia” or something similar?
“Eutresia,” however, means nothing of the sort:
I see no way to make that mean anything to do with hair. It would be a properly-formed Greek noun meaning “well-holedness”, the quality of being equipped with one or more excellent holes or orifices: not a name anyone this side of Lord Rochester, or Martial in one of his darker moods, would give to an enemy, much less a mistress. Neither “eutresia” nor for that matter “dystresia” is included in the OED, but “atresia”, “from Greek ἄτρητος not perforated”, is attested with the meaning “occlusion or closure of a natural channel of the body” since 1807. Biliary atresia is a common birth defect.
Rochester, who died at 33, possibly from a combination of STDs, might have had a passing familarity with holes, but let’s leave it at that.