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Contented I had been too blest,
If Love and you had let me rest: Yet that dull life I now despise;
Safe from your eyes,
I fear'd no grief, but then I found no joys.
Amidst a thousand kind desires,
Which Beauty moves, and Love inspires ;
Such pangs I feel of tender fear,
No heart so soft as mine can bear:
Yet I'll defy the worst of harms;
Such are your charms,
'Tis worth a life to die within your arms.
wars and plagues come no such harms, As from a nymph so full of charms, So much sweetness in her face,
In her motions such a grace,
In her kind inviting eyes
Such a soft enchantment lies,
That we please ourselves too soon,
And are with empty hopes undone.
After all her softness, we
Are but slaves, while she is free;
Free, alas! from all desire,
Except to set the world on fire.
Thou, fair dissembler, dost but thus
Deceive thyself, as well as us.
Like a restless monarch, thou
Wouldst rather force mankind to bow,
And venture round the world to roam,
Then govern peaceably at home.
But trust me, Celia, trust me, when
Apollo's self inspires my pen,
One hour of love's delight outweighs
Whole years of universal praise;
And one adorer, kindly us'd,
Gives truer joys than crowds refus'd.
For what does youth and beauty serve?
Why more than all your sex deserve?
Why such soft alluring arts
To charm our eyes, and melt our hearts?
By our loss you nothing gain:
Unless you love, you please in vain.
LIKE children in a starry night,
When I beheld those eyes before,
I gaz'd with wonder and delight,
Insensible of all their power.
I play'd about the flame so long,
At last I felt the scorching fire;
My hopes were weak, my passion strong,
And I lay dying with desire.
By all the helps of human art,
I just recover'd so much sense,
As to avoid, with heavy heart,
The fair, but fatal, influence.
But, since you shine away despair,
And now my sighs no longer shun,
No Persian in his zealous prayer
So much adores the rising Sun,
If once again my vows displease, There never was so lost a lover; In love, that languishing disease, A sad relapse we ne'er recover.
THE RECOVERÝ. SIGHING and languishing I lay,
A stranger grown to all delight, Passing with tedious thoughts the day, And with unquiet dreams the night. For your dear sake, my only care
Was how my fatal love to hide; For ever drooping with despair,
Neglecting all the world beside:
Till, like some angel from above,
Cornelia came to my relief ;*
And then I found the joys of love
Can make amends for all the grief.
Those pleasing hopes I now pursue
Might fail if you could prove unjust; But promises from Heaven and you, Who is so impious to mistrust?
Here all my doubts and troubles end,
One tender word my soul assures ;
Nor am I vain, since I depend
Not on my own desert, but yours.
THE CONVERT. DEJECTED, as true converts die,
But yet with fervent thoughts inflam'd, So, fairest at your feet I lie,
Of all my sex's faults asham'd.
Too long, alas! have I abus'd
Love's innocent and sacred flame, And that divinest power have us'd To laugh at, as an idle name.
But since so freely I confess
A crime which may your scorn produce, Allow me now to make it less
By any just and fair excuse.
I then did vulgar joys pursue,
Variety was all my bliss;
But ignorant of love and you,
How could I choose but do amiss?
If ever now my wandering eyes
Seek out amusements as before;
If e'er I look, but to despise
Such charms, and value yours the more;
May sad remorse, and guilty shame,
Revenge your wrongs on faithless me;
And, what I tremble even to name,
May I lose all in losing thee!
IN IMITATION OF ANACREON.
THOU flatterer of all the fair,
Come with all your skill and care;
Draw me such a shape and face,
As your flattery would disgrace.
Wish not that she would appear,
"Tis well for you she is not here:
Scarce can you with safety see
All her charms describ'd by me:
I, alas the danger know,
I, alas! have felt the blow;
Mourn, as lost, my former days,
That never sung of Celia's praise;
And those few that are behind
I shall blest or wretched find,
Only just as she is kind.
With her tempting eyes begin,
Eyes that would draw angels in
To a second sweeter sin.
Oh, those wanton rolling eyes!
At each glance a lover dies:
Make them bright, yet make them willing,
Let them look both kind and killing.
Next, draw her forehead; then her nose,
And lips just opening, that disclose
Teeth so bright, and breath so sweet,
So much beauty, so much wit,
To our very soul they strike,
All our senses pleas'd alike.
But so pure a white and red,
Never, never, can be said:
What are words in such a case?
What is paint to such a face?
How should either art avail us?
Fancy here itself must fail us.
In her looks, and in her mien,
Such a graceful air is seen,
That if you, with all your art,
Can but reach the smallest part;
Next to her, the matchless she,
We shall wonder most at thee.
Then her neck, and breasts, and hair,
And her but my charming fair
Does in a thousand things excel,
Which I must not, dare not tell.
How go on then? Oh' I see
A lovely Venus drawn by thee;
Oh how fair she docs appear!
Touch it only here and there.
Make her yet seem more divine,
Your Venus then may look like mine,
Whose bright form if once you saw,
You by her would Venus draw.
If from the glorious height he falls,
He greatly daring dies;
Or mounting where bright beauty calls, An empire is the prize.
SAFELY perhaps dull crowds admire;
But I, alas! am all on fire.
Like him who thought in childhood past
That dire disease which kill'd at last,
I durst have sworn I lov'd before,
And fancy'd all the danger o'er;
Had felt the pangs of jealous pain,
And borne the blasts of cold disdain;
Then reap'd at length the mighty gains,
That full reward of all our pains!
But what was all such grief or joy, That did my heedless ears employ? Mere dreams of feign'd fantastic powers, But the disease of idle hours; Amusement, humour, affectation, Compar'd with this sublimer passion, Whose raptures, bright as those above, Outshine the flames of zeal or love.
Yet think not, fairest, what I sing
Can from a love platonic spring,
That formal softness (false and vain)
Not of the heart, but of the brain.
Thou art indeed above all nature;
But I, a wretched human creature,
Wanting thy gentle generous aid,
Of husband, rivals, friends, afraid!
Amidst all this seraphic fire,
Am almost dying with desire,
With eager wishes, ardent thoughts,
Prone to commit Love's wildest faults!
And (as we are on Sundays told
The lusty patriarch did of old)
Would force a blessing from those charms,
And grasp an angel in my arms.
SUNG ON THE STAGE, BETWEEN AN ELDERLY SHEPHERD AND A VERY YOUNG NYMPH.
BRIGHT and blooming as the Spring,
Universal love inspiring;
All our swains thy praises sing,
Ever gazing and admiring.
Praises in so high a strain,
And by such a shepherd sung, Are enough to make me vain,
Yet so harmless and so young.
I should have despair'd among
Rivals that appear so gaily:
But your eyes have made me young,
By their smiling on me daily..
Idle boys admire us blindly,
Are inconstant, wild, and bold; And your using me so kindly Is a proof you are not old.
DIED DISCOVERING HER KINDNESS.
SOME vex their souls with jealous pain,
While others sigh for cold disdain:
Love's various slaves we daily see!
Yet happy all, compar'd with me.
Of all mankind, I lov'd the best
A nymph so far above the rest,
That we outshin'd the blest above,
In beauty she, and I in love.
And therefore they who could not bear
To be outdone by mortals here,
Among themselves have plac'd her now,
And left me wretched here below.
All other fate I could have borne,
And ev'n endur'd her very scorn;
But, oh! thus all at once to find
That dread account! both dead and kind!
What heart can hold! if yet I live,
'Tis but to show how much I grieve.
ON LUCINDA'S DEATH.
COME, all ye doleful, dismal cares,
That ever haunted guilty mind!
The pangs of love when it despairs,
And all those stings the jealous find:
Alas! heart-breaking though ye be,
Yet welcome, welcome all to me!
Who now have lost-but, oh! how much?
No language, nothing can express,
Except my grief! for she was such,
That praises would but make her less.
Yet who can ever dare to raise
His voice on her, unless to praise?
Free from her sex's smallest faults,
And fair as womankind can be:
Tender and warm as lover's thoughts,
Yet cold to all the world but me.
Of all this nothing now remains,
But only sighs and endless pains!
RETIRING INTO A MONASTERY.
WHAT breast but yours can hold the double fire
Of fierce devotion, and of fond desire?
Love would shine forth, were not your zeal so bright,
Whose glaring flames eclipse his gentler light:
Less seems the faith that mountains can remove,
Than this which triumphs over youth and love.
But shall some threatening priest divide us two? What worse than that could all his curses do? Thus, with a fright, some have resign'd their breath, And poorly dy'd, only for fear of death.
Heaven sees our passions with indulgence still, And they who lov'd well, can do nothing ill. While to us nothing but ourselves is dear, Should the world frown, yet what have we to fear? Fame, wealth, and power, those high-priz'd gifts The low concerns of a less happy state, [of Fate, Are far beneath us: Fortune's self may take Her aim at us, yet no impression make; Let worldlings ask her help, or fearr harms; We can lie safe, lock'd in each other's arms, Like the blest saiats, eternal raptures know, And slight those storms that vainly rest below. Yet this, all this, you are resolv'd to quit; I see my ruin, and I must submit ; But think, O think, before you prove unkind, How lost a wretch you leave forlorn behind!
Malignant envy, mix'd with hate and fear, Revenge for wrongs too burthensome to bear, Ev'n zeal itself, from whence all mischiefs spring, Have never done so barbarous a thing.
With such a fate the Heavens decreed to vex Armida once, though of the fairest sex; Rinaldo she had charm'd with so much art, Hers was his power, his person, and his heart: Honour's high thoughts no more his mind could
She sooth'd his rage, and turn'd it all to love:
When straight a gust of fierce devotion blows,
And in a moment all her joys o'erthrows:
The poor Armida tears her golden hair,
Matchless, till now, for love or for despair.
Who is not mov'd while the sad nymph complains?
Yet you now act what Tasso only feigns:
And after all our vows, our sighs, our tears,
My banish'd sorrows, and your conquer'd fears;
So many doubts, so many dangers past,
Visions of zeal must vanquish me at last.
Thus, in great Homer's war, throughout the field,
Some hero still made all things mortal yield;
But when a god once took the vanquish'd side,
The weak prevail'd, and the victorious dy'd.
WRITTEN DURING A SEA VOYAGE, WHEN SENT TO COM◄
MAND THE FORCES FOR THE RELIEF OF TANGIER.
WITHIN the silent shades of soft repose,
Where Fancy's boundless stream for ever flows;
Where the enfranchis'd soul at ease can play,
Tir'd with the toilsome business of the day;
Where princes gladly rest their weary heads,
And change uneasy thrones for downy beds,
Where seeming joys delude despairing minds,
And where ev'n Jealousy some quiet finds;
There I and Sorrow for a while could part,
Sleep clos'd my eyes, and eas'd a sighing heart.
But here, too soon, a wretched lover found,
In deepest griefs, that sleep can ne'er be found;
With strange surprise my troubled fancy brings
Odd antic shapes of wild unheard-of things;
Dismal and terrible they all appear,
My soul was shook with an unusual fear.
But as when visions glad the eyes of saints,
And kind relief attends devout complaints,
Some beauteous angel in bright charms will shine,
And spread a glory round, that's all divine;
Just such a bright and Leauteous form appears,
The monsters vanish, and with them my fears.
The fairest shape was then before me brought,
That eyes e'er saw, or fancy ever thought;
How weak are words to show such excellence,
Which ev'n confounds the soul, as well as sense !
And, while our eyes transporting pleasure find,
It stops not here, but strikes the very mind.
Some angel speak her praise; no human tongue,
But, with its utmost art, must do her wrong.
The only woan that has power to kill,
And yet is good enough to want the will;
Who needs no soft alluring words repeat,
Nor study'd looks of languishing deceit.
Fantastic Beauty, always in the wrong,
Still thinks some pride must to its power belong;
An air affected, and an haughty mien,
Something that seems to say, "I would be seen."
But, of all womankind, this only she,
Full of its charms, and from its frailty free,
Deserves some nobler Muse her fame to raise,
By making the whole sex beside her pyramid
She, she appear'd the source of all my joys,
The dearest care that all my thought employs:
Gently she look'd, as when I left her last,
Thank Heaven, my fate transports me now where 1,
Your martyr, may with ease and safety die."
With that I kneel'd, and seiz'd her trembling
While she impos'd this cruel kind command:
"Live, and love on; you will be true, I know;
But live then, and come back to tell me so;
For, though I blush at this last guilty breath,
I can endure that better than your death."
Tormenting kindness! barbarous reprieve!
Condemn'd to die, and yet compell'd to live!
This tender scene my dream repeated o'er,
Just as it pass'd in real truth before.
Methought I then fell groveling to the ground,
"Till on a sudden rais'd, I wondering found
A strange appearance all in taintiess white;
His form gave reverence, and his face delight:
Goodness and greatness in his eyes were seen,
Gentle his look, and affable his mien.
A kindly notice of me thus he took :
"What mean these flowing eyes, this ghastly look!
These trembling joints, this loose dishevell'd hair,
And this cold dew, the drops of deep despair?"
With grief and wonder first my spirits faint,
But thus, at last, I vented my complaint:
"Behold a wretch, whom cruel Fate has found,
And in the depth of all misfortune drown'd.
There shines a nymph, to whom an envy'd swain
Is ty'd in Hymen's ceremonious chain;
But, cloy'd with charms of such a marriage-bed,
And fed with manna, yet he longs for bread;
And will, most husband-like, not only range,
For love perhaps of nothing else but change,
But to inferior beauty prostrate lies,
And courts her love in scorn of Flavia's eyes.
"All this I knew," the form divine reply'd,
"And did but ask to have thy temper try'd,
of Which prove sincere. Of both I know the mind;
She is too scrupulous, and thou too kind:
But since thy fatal love's for ever fix'd,
Whatever time or absence come betwixt ;
Since thy fond heart ev'n her disdain prefers
To others' love, I'll something soften hers:
Else in the scarch of virtue she may stray;
Well-meaning mortals should not lose their way.
She now indeed sins on the safer side,
For hearts too loose are never to be ty'd;
But no extremes are either good or wise,
And in the midst alone true virtue lies.
When marriage-vows unite an equal pair,
'Tis a mere contract made by human care,
By which they both are for convenience ty'd,
The bridegroom yet more strictly than the bride;
For circumstances alter every ill,
When first she seiz'd my heart, and held it fast:
When, if my vows, alas! were made too late,
I saw my doom came not from her, but Fate.
With pity then she eas'd my raging pain,
And her kind eyes could scarce from tears refrain:
"Why, gentle swain," said she, "why do you grieve
In words I should not hear, much less believe?
I gaze on that which is a fault to mind,
And ought to fly the danger which I find :
Of false mankind though you may be the best,
Ye all have robb'd poor women of their rest.
I see your pain, and see it too with grief,
Because I would, yet must not, give relief.
Thus, for a husband's sake, as well as yours,
My scrupulous soul divided pain endures;
Guilty, alas! to both: for thus I do
Too much for him, yet not enough for you.
Give over then, give over, hapless swain,
A passion moving, but a passion vain:
Not chance nor time shall ever change my thought:
'Tis better much to die, than do a fault."
“Oh, worse than ever! Is it then my doom
Just to see Heaven, where I must never come?
Your soft compassion, if not something more;
Yet I remain as wretched as before;
The wind indeed is fair, but, ah! no sight of shore.
Farewell, too scrupulous fair one; oh, farewell!
What torments I endure, no tongue can tell!
And woman meets with most temptation still;
She a forsaken bed must often bear,
While he can never fail to find her there,
And therefore less excus'd to range elsewhere.
Yet this she ought to suffer, and submit:
But when no longer for each other fit,
If usage base shall just resentment move,
Or, what is worse, affronts of wandering love;
No obligation after that remains,
'Tis mean, not just, to wear a rival's chains.
"Yet decency requires the wonted cares
Of interest, children, and remote affairs;
But in her love, that dear concern of life,
She all the while may be another's wife :
Heaven, that beholds her wrong'd and widow'd
Permits a lover in her husband's stead." [bed,
I flung me at his feet, his robes would kiss, And cry'd-" Ev'n our base world is just in this; Amidst our censures, love we gently blame, And love sometimes preserves a female fame. What the less strong can woman's will restrain? When honour checks, and conscience pleads in vain, When parents' threats and friends' persuasions fail, When interest and ambition scarce prevail, To bound that sex when nothing else can move, They'll live reserv'd, to please the man they love!" The spirit then reply'd to all I said, "She may be kind, but not till thou art dead; Bewail thy memory, bemoan thy fate: Then she will love, when 'tis, alas! too late: Of all thy pains she will no pity have, Till sad despair has sent thee to the grave."
Amaz'd, I wak'd in haste,
All trembling at my doom:
Dreams oft repeat adventures past,
And tell our ills to come.
TRANSLATED BY THE EARL OF MULGRAVE, AND
WHEN loose epistles violate chaste eyes,
She half consents, who silently denies;
How dares a stranger, with designs so vain,
Marriage and hospitable rights profane?
Was it for this your fate did shelter find
From swelling seas and every faithless wind?
(For though a distant country brought you forth,
Your usage here was equal to your worth.)
Does this deserve to be rewarded so!
Did you come here a stranger, or a foe?
Your partial judgment may perhaps complain,
And think me barbarous, for my just disdain;
Ill-bred then let me be, but not unchaste,
Nor my clear fame with any spot defac'd.
Though in my face there's no affected frown,
Nor in my carriage a feign'd niceness shown,
I keep my honour still without a stain,
Nor has my love made any coxcomb vain.
Your boldness I with admiration see:
What hope had you to gain a queen like me?
Because a hero forc'd me once away,
Am I thought fit to be a second prey?
Had I been won, I had deserv'd your blame,
But sure my part was nothing but the shame;
Yet the base theft to him no fruit did bear,
I 'scap'd unhurt by any thing but fear :
Rude force might some unwilling kisses gain,
But that was all he ever could obtain.
You on such terms would ne'er have let me go;
Were he like you, we had not parted so.
Untouch'd the youth restor'd me to my friends,
And modest usage made me some amends.
'Tis virtue to repent a vicious deed:
Did he repent, that Paris might succeed?
Sure 'tis some fate that sets me above wrongs,
Yet still exposes me to busy tongues.
I'll not complain, for who's displeas'd with love,
If it sincere, discreet, and constant prove?
But that I fear-not that I think you base,
Or doubt the blooming beauties of my face;
But all your sex is subject to deceive,
And ours, alas! too willing to believe.
Yet others yield, and love o'ercomes the best-
But why should I not shine above the rest?
Fair Leda's story seems at first to be
A fit example ready found for me:
But she was couzen'd by a borrow'd shape,
And under harmless feathers felt a rape:
If I should yield, what reason could I use?
By what mistake the loving crime excuse?
Her fault was in her powerful lover lost;
But of what Jupiter have I to boast?
Though you to heroes and to kings succeed,
Our famous race does no addition need;
And great alliances but useless prove
To one, that springs herself from mighty Jove.
Go then and boast in some less haughty place
Your Phrygian blood, and Priam's ancient race,
Which I would show I valued, if I durst;
You are the fifth from Jove, but I the first.
The crown of Troy is powerful, I confess,
But I have reason to think ours no less.
Your letter, fill'd with promises of all
That men can good, and women pleasant call,
Gives expectation such an ample field
As would move goddesses themselves to yield:
But, if I e'er offend great Juno's laws,
Yourself shall be the dear, the only cause;
Either my honour I'll to death maintain,
Or follow you without mean thoughts of gain:
Not that so fair a present I despise;
We like the gift, when we the giver prize;
But 'tis your love moves me, which made you take
Such pains, and run such hazards for my sake.
I have perceiv'd (though I dissembled too)
A thousand things that love has made you do;
Your eager eyes would almost dazzle mine, [shine.
In which (wild man!) your wanton thoughts would
Sometimes you'd sigh, sometimes disorder'd stand,
And with unusual ardour press my hand;
Contrive just after me to take the glass,
Nor would you let the least occasion pass;
Which oft I fear'd I did not mind alone,
And blushing sat for things which you have done;
Then murmur'd to myself, "He'll for my sake
Do any thing:" I hope 'twas no mistake.
Oft have I read within this pleasant grove,
Under my name, these charming words, I love.
I, frowning, seem'd not to believe your flame,
But now, alas! am come to write the same.
If I were capable to do amiss,
I could not but be sensible of this.
For, oh! your face has such peculiar charms,
That who can hold from flying to your arms!
But what I ne'er can have without offence,
May some blest maid possess with innocence,
Pleasure may tempt,but Virtue more should move;
Oh! learn of me to want the thing you love.
What you desire is sought by all mankind;
As you have eyes, so others are not blind:
Like you they see, like you my charms adore;
They wish not less, but you dare venture more.
Oh! had you then upon our coasts been brought,
My virgin love when thousand rivals sought,
You had I seen, you should have had my voice,
Nor could my husband justly blame my choice.
For both our hopes, alas! you came too late,
Another now is master of my fate:
More to my wish I could have liv'd with you,
And yet my present lot can undergo.