575   Verse

PAST ruin’d Ilion Helen lives,
   Alcestis rises from the shades;
Verse calls them forth; ’tis verse that gives
   Immortal youth to mortal maids.

Soon shall Oblivion’s deepening veil
   Hide all the peopled hills you see,
The gay, the proud, while lovers hail
   These many summers you and me.

576   Proud Word you never spoke

PROUD word you never spoke, but you will speak
Four not exempt from pride some future day.
Resting on one white hand a warm wet cheek,
Over my open volume you will say,
‘This man loved me’—then rise and trip away.

577   Mother, I cannot mind my Wheel

MOTHER, I cannot mind my wheel;
   My fingers ache, my lips are dry:
O, if you felt the pain I feel!
   But O, who ever felt as I?

No longer could I doubt him true—
   All other men may use deceit;
He always said my eyes were blue,
   And often swore my lips were sweet.

578   Of Clementina

IN Clementina’s artless mien
   Lucilla asks me what I see,
And are the roses of sixteen
                    Enough for me?

Lucilla asks, if that be all,
   Have I not cull’d as sweet before:
Ah yes, Lucilla! and their fall
                    I still deplore.

I now behold another scene,
   Where Pleasure beams with Heaven’s own light,
More pure, more constant, more serene,
                    And not less bright.

Faith, on whose breast the Loves repose,
   Whose chain of flowers no force can sever,
And Modesty who, when she goes,
                    Is gone for ever.

579   Alciphron and Leucippe

AN ancient chestnut’s blossoms threw
Their heavy odour over two:
Leucippe, it is said, was one;
The other, then, was Alciphron.
‘Come, come! why should we stand beneath?’
This hollow tree’s unwholesome breath?’
Said Alciphron, ‘here’s not a blade
Of grass or moss, and scanty shade.
Come; it is just the hour to rove
In the lone dingle shepherds love;
There, straight and tall, the hazel twig
Divides the crookàed rock-held fig,
O’er the blue pebbles where the rill
In winter runs and may run still.
Come then, while fresh and calm the air,
And while the shepherds are not there.’

Leucippe.   But I would rather go when they
                   Sit round about and sing and play.
                   Then why so hurry me? for you
                   Like play and song, and shepherds too.

Alciphron.   I like the shepherds very well,
                   And song and play, as you can tell.
                   But there is play, I sadly fear,
                   And song I would not have you hear.

Leucippe.    What can it be? What can it be?

Alciphron.   To you may none of them repeat
                   The play that you have play’d with me,
                   The song that made your bosom beat.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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