Abbildungen der Seite

If Love, and Love alone, hath reveld there,

Beneath the veil of secrecy and truth, O free me, free me from this sad despair, That blasts with chilling hand my bloom of

youth. But ah! no power of thine can reach her heart,

Proof to that passion which her beauty gave; Snatch then, O snatch from Death the friendly

dart, And hide my sorrows in the silent grave!

[blocks in formation]

Four days are pass'd, four tedious days of pain,

Since these sad eyes beheld my love depart; Four days are yet to come, ere I again

Shall see the beauteous sovereign of my heart. While fond impatience in my bosom burns,

And the slow hours insult my restless haste, Ah, who can teach me, till my love returns,

In easy indolence the time to waste ?
Vain search! no ease will selfish love allow;

No power hath art to lull my cares asleep: Pleasure and mirth and smiles are irksome now;

And my sole comfort is to sigh and weep.

On swifter wings I bade the moments fly;

But they, perverse, have doubled their delay; For grief hath banish'd slumber from my eye,

And night partakes the sorrows of the day. VOL. IV.


Nor think, my friends, that causeless is my pain,

The hours you count not by a lover's mind; Four tedious days of absence I sustain,

And justly dread the heavier half behind. While distant strays my love, the poison'd dart

Of jealousy hath struck me with despair:
And doubts arise where reason has no part,

Surmises vain, and self-created care.
By glittering fops and courtly speech beset,

Can a frail woman's faith unshaken prove?
And will she not a wretch like me forget,

Who only plead fidelity and love? Ah no!—and now what ecstasy I feel !

[fear; False are my doubts, and vain my scrupulous I know the hand, I know the faithful seal,

This letter proves my Laura's love sincere. Yes, fair one, yes, thy love, thy truth I see;

To my fond breast I'll press each tender line: Kiss the dear words that bid me think on thee;

And bless the period that concludes thee mine. On thee I'll think, till four long days shall give

In thy loved presence more substantial bliss; Then shall my arms their real wish receive,

And my lips glow beneath a warmer kiss.

[blocks in formation]

I go, my love, and till we meet again

Let Hope and Constancy the time beguile:
Again to meet! that prospect shall restrain
The tear that starts through my dissembled


[ocr errors]

Farewell! but there is finish'd all my boast

That tender accent falters on my tongue; And I must weep for that dear object lost,

On which I gazed so fondly and so long. O stop! O turn; for I have much to say

One word! one look! I cannot leave thee soAh me, she takes a distant different way;

And I unheard, unanswer'd, vent my woe. From her soft voice no more I catch the sound;

No more her beauties grace my happy side : I call, I search in vain, no more is found

My sweet companion, and my promised bride. Back to those happier scenes, remembrance, ily!

Thy lenient aid my sorrow shall remove : For thou from those dear moments canst supply

Full many a proof propitious to my love. Much though I loved, I found that love repaid ;

And seem'd of all men happy o'er the rest; Consenting beauty heal'd the wound it made;

And love enslaved me but to make me bless'd. My lips the story of my bosom told,

Check'd by no scornful, no unkind reply; Her favouring glances bade my tongue be bold,

And mutual passion kindled in her eye: The blush soft spreading o'er her downcast face,

The sudden sigh, half-rising, half-suppress’d, That eoy distress which heightens every grace,

In silent eloquence her love confess'd.
How sweet to snatch her not unwiling hand,

And all delighted on her charms to gaze; While mix'd with many a kiss we fondly plann'd

The tender conduct of connubial days!

Each social Virtue decks her gentle mind;

And steadfast Honour waves his banners there; So chaste a temple Love was proud to find;

And Truth proclaims her parting vow sincere!

While sweet remembrance thus relieves my heart,

Ah why should grief so fair a prospect sour! Yes, we shall meet, and meet no more to part, And Heaven and Love shall bless the' expected


Then fare thee well! and to thy constant mind

Still be my memory dear, though I am gone; Still be each thought, each tender wish confined,

To me whose heart is full of thee alone :

Fond Hope the while shall cheer my drooping soul,

In sweet impatience shall the time employ, Shall chide the lazy moments as they roll, And soothe my grief with thoughts of futurejoy.



I ASK'd a kiss, and scarce those lips complied,

For instant fled the momentary joy :Would thou hadst still the fatal bliss denied,

And then, as now, been more severely coy! Can one slight shower refresh the thirsty mead?

One single plant with verdure clothe the plain? One star o'er yon wide arch its radiance spread?

Or one small rill supply the boundless main ?

The skies unnumber'd all their bounties pour;

In such profusion are their blessings given, E'en thankless man must own the wondrous store

Becomes the rich munificence of Heaven. While you one kiss, and one alone resign’d, Though favouring night enwrapp'd the’uncon

scious grove ; Though well you knew not countless millions join'd

Could sate the unrival'd avarice of love. Yet once again the dangerous gift renew,

With kinder looks prolong the fleeting bliss ; Let me too try, while all thy charms I view,

Like Shakspeare's Moor, to die upon a kiss !' But no such kiss as some cold sister grants,

Or colder brother carelessly receives ; Mine be the kiss for which the lover pants,

And the dear, soft, consenting mistress gives. Else I as well might clasp the sculptured fair,

And press the’ unyielding marble lips to mine; Or woo, the transports of my love to share,

The pictured forms of Reynolds' hands divine. In thy sweet kiss, 0, blend such soft desires

As conquer youth, and palsied age can warm; Those arts that cherish love, like vestal fires,

And bid in Virtue's cause our passions arm! Such if thou givest—though closing air and sea

Efface the arrow's path, the vessel's road, More faithful to their trust my lips shall be, And bear the impression to their last abode.


« ZurückWeiter »