Page images
PDF
EPUB

Now that a miracle so strange

May not in vain be shown, Let the dear maid who wrought the change

Even claim him for her own.

AN APOLOGY

FOR NOT SHOWING HER WHAT I HAD WROTE.

Cutfield, July, 1752.
Did not my Muse (what can she less ?)
Perceive her own unworthiness,
Could she by some well-chosen theme,
But hope to merit your esteem,
She would not thus conceal her lays,
Ambitious to deserve your praise.
But should my Delia take offence,
And frown on her impertinence,
In silence, sorrowing and forlorn,
Would the despairing trifler mourn,
Curse her ill-tuned, unpleasing lute,
Then sigh and sit for ever mute.
In secret therefore let her play,
Squandering her idle notes away
In secret as she chants along,
Cheerful and careless in her song;
Nor heeds she whether harsh or clear,
Free from each terror, every fear,
From that, of all most dreaded, free,
The terror of offending Thee.

At the same place.
Delia, the unkindest girl on earth,

When I besought the fair,
That favour of intrinsic worth,

A ringlet of her hair,Refused that instant to comply

With my absurd request,

For reasons she could specify,

Some twenty score at least.
Trust me, my dear, however odd

It may appear to say,
I sought it merely to defraud

The spoiler of his prey.
Yet when its sister locks shall fade,

As quickly fade they must,
When all their beauties are decay'd,

Their gloss, their colour, lost, – Ah then ! if haply to my share

Some slender pittance fall, If I but gain one single hair,

Nor age usurp them all ;-
When you behold it still as sleek,

As lovely to the view,
As when it left thy snowy neck,-

That Eden where it grew, —
Then shall my Delia's self declare

That I profess'd the truth,
And have preserved my little share

In everlasting youth.

At the same place. This evening, Delia, you and I Have managed most delightfully,

For with a frown we parted ; Having contrived some trifle that We both may be much troubled at,

And sadly disconcerted.
Yet well as each perform’d their part,
We might perceive it was but art;

And that we both intended
To sacrifice a little ease;
For all such petty flaws as these

Are made but to be mended.

You knew, dissembler ! all the while,
How sweet it was to reconcile

After this heavy pelt;
That we should gain by this allay
When next we met, and laugh away

The care we never felt.
Happy! when we but seek to endure
A little pain, then find a cure

By double joy requited ;
For friendship, like a severed bone,
Improves and joins a stronger tone

When aptly reunited.

WRITTEN IN A QUARREL. (THE DELIVERY OF IT PREVENTED BY A RECONCILIATION.)

THINK, Delia, with what cruel haste

Our fleeting pleasures move,
Nor heedless thus in sorrow waste

The moments due to love ;
Be wise, my fair, and gently treat

These few that are our friends;
Think thus abused, what sad regret

Their speedy flight attends !
Sure in those eyes I loved so well,

And wish'd so long to see,
Anger I thought could never dwell,

Or anger aim'd at me.
No bold offence of mine I knew

Should e'er provoke your hate;
And, early taught to think you true,

Still hoped a gentler fate.
With kindness bless the present hour,

Or oh! we meet in vain !
What can we do in absence more

Than suffer and complain ?
Fated to ills beyond redress,

We must endure our woe;

The days allow'd us to possess,

'Tis madness to forego.

THE SYMPTOMS OF LOVE. Would my Delia know if I love, let her take My last thought at night, and the first when I wake; With my prayers and best wishes preferr'd for her

sake. Let her guess what I muse on, when rambling alone I stride oʻer the stubble each day with my gun, Never ready to shoot till the covey is flown. Let her think what odd whimsies I have in my brain, When I read one page over and over again, And discover at last that I read it in vain. Let her say why so fixʼd and so steady my look, Without ever regarding the person who spoke, Stiff affecting to laugh, without hearing the joke. Or why when with pleasure her praises I hear, (That sweetest of melody sure to my ear,) I attend, and at once inattentive appear. And lastly, when summon’d to drink to my flame, Let her guess why I never once mention her name, Though herself and the woman I love are the same.

SEE where the Thames, the purest stream
That wavers to the noon-day beam,

Divides the vale below;
While like a vein of liquid ore
His waves enrich the happy shore,

Still shining as they flow.
Nor yet, my Delia, to the main
Runs the sweet tide without a stain,

Unsullied as it seems;
The nymphs of many a sable flood
Deform with streaks of oozy mud

The bosom of the Thames.

R

Some idle rivulets, that feed
And suckle every noisome weed,

A sandy bottom boast;
For ever bright, for ever clear,
The trifling shallow rills appear

In their own channel lost.
Thus fares it with the human soul,
Where copious floods of passion roll,

By genuine love supplied ;
Fair in itself the current shows,
But ah! a thousand anxious woes

Pollute the noble tide.
These are emotions known to few;
For where at most a vapoury dew

Surrounds the tranquil heart,
Then as the triflers never prove
The glad excess of real love,

They never prove the smart.
O then, my life, at last relent!
Though cruel the reproach I sent,

My sorrow was unfeign'd:
Your passion, had I loved you not,
You might have scorn’d, renounced, forgot,

And I had ne'er complain'd.
While you indulge a groundless fear,
The imaginary woes you bear

Are real woes to me :
But thou art kind, and good thou art,
Nor wilt, by wronging thine own heart,

Unjustly punish me.

[ocr errors]

How bless'd the youth whom fate ordains
A kind relief from all his pains,

In some admired fair ;
Whose tenderest wishes find express'd
Their own resemblance in her breast,

Exactly copied there !

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »