« EelmineJätka »
Nature stands check'd; Religion disapproves;
E'en thou art cold-yet Eloisa loves.
Ah hopeless, lasting flames; like those that burn
To light the dead, and warm th' unfruitful urn.
What scenes appear where'er I turn my view? The dear ideas, where I fly, pursue;
Rise in the grove, before the altar rise,
Stain all my soul, and wanton in my eyes.
I waste the matin lamp in sighs for thee,
Thy image steals between my God and me;
Thy voice I seem in every hymn to hear,
With every bead I drop too soft a tear.
When from the censer clouds of fragrance roll,
And swelling organs lift the rising soul,
One thought of thee puts all the pomp to flight,
Priests, tapers, temples, swim before my sight:
In seas of flame my plunging soul is drown'd,
While altars blaze, and angels tremble round.
While prostrate here in humble grief I lie, Kind virtuous drops just gathering in my eye, While praying, trembling, in the dust I roll, And dawning grace is opening on my soul: Come, if thou dar'st, all charming as thou art! Oppose thyself to heaven; dispute my heart; Come, with one glance of those deluding eyes Blot out each bright idea of the skies;
Take back that grace, those sorrows and those tears, Take back my fruitless penitence and prayers; Snatch me, just mounting, from the blest abode; Assist the fiends, and tear me from my God!
No, fly me, fly me, far as pole from pole;
Rise Alps between us! and whole oceans roll!
Ah, come not, write not, think not once of me,
Nor share one pang of all I felt for thee.
Thy oaths I quit, thy memory resign;
Forget, renounce me, hate whate'er was mine.
Fair eyes, and tempting looks (which yet I view),
Long lov'd, ador'd ideas, all adieu !
O grace serene! O virtue heavenly fair!
Divine oblivion of low-thoughted care!
Fresh blooming Hope, gay daughter of the sky! And Faith, our early immortality!
Enter each mild, each amicable guest;
Receive, and wrap me in eternal rest!
See in her cell sad Eloisa spread,
Propt on some tomb, a neighbour of the dead.
In each low wind methinks a spirit calls,
And more than echoes talk along the walls.
Here, as I watch'd the dying lamps around,
From yonder shrine I heard a hollow sound:
“Come, sister, come! (it said, or seem'd to say)
Thy place is here, sad sister, come away;
Once, like thyself, I trembled, wept, and pray'd,
Love's victim then, though now a sainted maid:
But all is calm in this eternal sleep;
Here grief forgets to groan, and love to weep;
E'en superstition loses every fear:
For God, not man, absolves our frailties here."
come, I come! prepare your roseate bowers,
Celestial palms, and ever-blooming flowers.
Thither, where sinners may have rest, I go,
Where flames refin'd in breasts seraphic glow:
Thou, Abelard! the last sad office pay,
And smooth my passage to the realms of day:
See my lips tremble, and my eyeballs roll,
Suck my last breath, and catch my flying soul !
Ah, no-in sacred vestments mayst thou stand,
The hallow'd taper trembling in thy hand,
Present the cross before my lifted eye,
Teach me at once, and learn of me to die.
Ah then, thy once lov'd Eloisa see!
It will be then no crime to gaze on me.
See from my cheek the transient roses fly!
See the last sparkle languish in my eye!
Till every motion, pulse, and breath be o'er;
And e'en my Abelard be lov'd no more.
O Death, all-eloquent! you only prove
What dust we doat on, when 'tis man we love.
Then too, when fate shall thy fair frame destroy (That cause of all my guilt, and all my joy), In trance ecstatic may thy pangs be drown'd, Bright clouds descend, and angels watch thee round;
From opening skies may streaming glories shine, And saints embrace thee with a love like mine.
May one kind grave unite each hapless name, And graft my love immortal on thy fame! Then, ages hence, when all my woes are o'er, When this rebellious heart shall beat no more; If ever chance two wandering lovers brings, To Paraclete's white walls and silver springs,
O'er the pale marble shall they join their heads,
And drink the falling tears each other sheds;
Then sadly say, with mutual pity mov'd,
"O may we never love as these have lov'd!"
From the full choir, when loud hosannas rise,
And swell the pomp of dreadful sacrifice,
Amid that scene if some relenting eye
Glance on the stone where our cold relics lie,
Devotion's self shall steal a thought from heaven,
One human tear shall drop, and be forgiven.
And sure if fate some future bard shall join
In sad similitude of griefs to mine,
Condemn'd whole years in absence to deplore,
And image charms he must behold no more;
Such if there be, who loves so long, so well,
Let him our sad, our tender story tell;
The well sung woes will soothe my pensive ghost;
He best can paint them who shall feel them most.
ELEGY TO THE MEMORY OF AN
WHAT beckoning ghost along the moonlight shade
Invites my steps, and points to yonder glade?
"Tis she-but why that bleeding bosom gor'd?
Why dimly gleams the visionary sword?
Oh ever beauteous, ever friendly! tell,
Is it, in Heaven, a crime to love too well?
To bear too tender or too firm a heart,
To act a lover's or a Roman's part?
Is there no bright reversion in the sky
For those who greatly think, or bravely die?
Why bade ye else, ye powers! her soul aspire
Above the vulgar flight of low desire?
Ambition first sprung from your blest abodes,
The glorious fault of angels and of gods:
Thence to their images on earth it flows,
And in the breasts of kings and heroes glows.
Most souls, 'tis true, but peep out once an age,
Dull sullen prisoners in the body's cage:
Dim lights of life, that burn a length of years
Useless, unseen, as lamps in sepulchres;
Like eastern kings a lazy state they keep,
And, close confin'd to their own palace, sleep.
1 See the Memoir of Pope prefixed to these volumes.