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My soul indulges; I confess the crime,
(If to esteem, to covet such perfection
Be criminal,) oh grant me Delia! grant me wealth!
Wealth to alleviate, not increase my wants ;
And grant me virtue, without which nor wealth
Nor Delia can avail to make me bless’d.
WRITTEN IN A FIT OF ILLNESS.
In these sad hours, a prey to ceaseless pain,
While feverish pulses leap in every vein,
When each faint breath the last short effort seems
Of life just parting from my feeble limbs;
How wild soe'er my wandering thoughts may be,
Still, gentle Delia, still they turn on thee!
At length if, slumbering to a short repose,
A brief oblivion frees me from my woes,
Thy form appears, thy footsteps I pursue,
Through springy vales, and meadows wash'd in dew;
Thy arm supports me to the fountain's brink,
Where by some secret power forbid to drink,
Gasping with thirst, I view the tempting flood
That flies my touch, or thickens into mud;
Till thine own hand immerged the goblet dips,
And bears it streaming to my burning lips.
There borne aloft on fancy's wing we fly,
Like souls embodied to their native sky;
Now every rock, each mountain, disappears,
And the round earth an even surface wears;
When lo! the force of some resistless weight
Bears me straight down from that pernicious height;
Parting, in vain our struggling arms we close;
Abhorred forms, dire phantoms interpose;
With trembling voice on thy loved name I call;
And gulfs yawn ready to receive my fall.
From these fallacious visions of distress
I wake; nor are my real sorrows less.
Thy absence, Delia, heightens every ill,
And gives e’en trivial pains the power to kill.
Oh! wert thou near me; yet that wish forbear! 'T were vain, my love, —'t were vain to wish thee
near ; Thy tender heart would heave with anguish too, And by partaking, but increase my woe. Alone I'll grieve, till gloomy sorrow past, Health, like the cheerful day-spring, comes at last, Comes fraught with bliss to banish every pain, Hope, joy, and peace, and Delia in her train!
Me to whatever state the gods assign,
Believe, my love, whatever state be mine,
Ne'er shall my breast one anxious sorrow know,
Ne'er shall my heart confess a real woe,
If to thy share heaven's choicest blessings fall,
As thou hast virtue to deserve them all.
Yet vain, alas ! that idle hope would be
That builds on happiness remote from thee.
Oh! may thy charms, whate’er our fate decrees,
Please, as they must, but let them only please-
Not like the sun with equal influence shine,
Nor warm with transport any heart but mine.
Ye who from wealth the ill-grounded title boast
To claim whatever beauty charms you most;
Ye sons of fortune, who consult alone
Her parents' will, regardless of her own,
Know that a love like ours, a generous flame,
No wealth can purchase, and no power reclaim.
The soul's affection can be only given
Free, unextorted, as the grace of Heaven.
Is there whose faithful bosom can endure
Pangs fierce as mine, nor ever hope a cure ?
Who sighs in absence of the dear-loved maid,
Nor summons once Indifference to his aid ?
Who can, like me, the nice resentment prove,
The thousand soft disquietudes of love;
The trivial strifes that cause a real pain ;
The real bliss when reconciled again ?
Let him alone dispute the real prize,
And read his sentence in my Delia's eyes;
There shall he read all gentleness and truth,
But not himself the dear distinguish'd youth
Pity for him perhaps they may express-
Pity, that will but heighten his distress;
But, wretched rival! he must sigh to see
The sprightlier rays of love directed all to me.
And thou, dear antidote of every pain
Which fortune can inflict, or love ordain,
Since early love has taught thee to despise
What the world's worthless votaries only prize,
Believe, my love ! no less the generous god
Rules in my breast, his ever blest abode;
There has he driven each gross desire away,
Directing every wish and every thought to thee !
Then can I ever leave
A slave, devoted to inferior charms ?
Can e'er my soul her reason so disgrace?
For what blest minister of heavenly race
Would quit that heaven to find a happier place ?
SUPPOSED TO BE WRITTEN ON THE MARRIAGE OF A FRIEND.
Thou magic lyre whose fascinating sound
Seduced the savage monsters from their cave, Drew rocks and trees and forms uncouth around,
And bade wild Hebrus hush his listening wave; No more thy undulating warblings flow O’er Thracian wilds of everlasting snow ! Awake to sweeter sounds, thou magic lyre,
And paint a lover's bliss—a lover's pain !
Far nobler triumphs now thy notes inspire,
For see, Eurydice attends thy strain;
Her smile, a prize beyond the conjuror's aim,
Superior to the canceld breath of fame.
From her sweet brow to chase the gloom of care,
To check that tear that dims the beaming eye, To bid her heart the rising sigh forbear,
And flush her orient cheek with brighter joy,
In that dear breast soft sympathy to move,
And touch the springs of rapture and of love.
Ah me! how long bewilder'd and astray,
Lost and benighted, did my footsteps rove,
Till sent by heaven to cheer my pathless ray,
A star arose—the radiant star of love.
The god propitious join’d our willing hands,
And Hymen wreath'd us in his rosy bands.
Yet not the beaming eye, or placid brow,
Or golden tresses, hid the subtle dart;
To charms superior far than those I bow,
And nobler worth enslaves my vanquish'd heart; The beauty, elegance, and grace combined, Which beam transcendent from that angel mind. While vulgar passions, meteors of a day,
Expire before the chilling blasts of age, Our holy flame with pure and steady ray
Its glooms shall brighten, and its pangs assuage; By Virtue (sacred vestal) fed, shall shine, And warm our fainting souls with energy divine.
ADDRESSED TO MISS MACARTNEY,
AFTERWARDS MRS. GREVILLE,
THE PRAYER FOR INDIFFERENCE.
And dwells there in a female heart,
By bounteous Heaven design'd
The choicest raptures to impart,
To feel the most refined;
Dwells there a wish in such a breast
Its nature to forego,
To smother in ignoble rest
At once both bliss and woe? Far be the thought, and far the strain,
Which breathes the low desire, How sweet soe'er the verse complain,
Though Phæbus string the lyre. Come then, fair maid, (in nature wise,)
Who, knowing them, can tell
From generous sympathy what joys
The glowing bosom swell;
In justice to the various powers
Of pleasing, which you share,
Join me, amid your silent hours,
To form the better prayer.
With lenient balm may Oberon hence
To fairy-land be driven,
With every herb that blunts the sense
Mankind received from heaven. “Oh! if my Sovereign Author please,
Far be it from my fate,
To live unblest in torpid ease,
And slumber on in state;
Each tender tie of life defied,
Whence social pleasures spring ; Unmoved with all the world beside,
A solitary thing.” Some Alpine mountain wrapt in snow,
Thus braves the whirling blast, Eternal winter doom'd to know,
No genial spring to taste;
In vain warm suns their influence shed,
The zephyrs sport in vain,
He rears unchanged his barren head,
Whilst beauty decks the plain. What though in scaly armour dress’d,
Indifference may repel
The shafts of woe, in such a breast
No joy can ever dwell.