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How oft, when press'd to marriage, have I said, Curfe on all laws but those which love has made! Love, free as air, at fight of human ties, Spreads his light wings, and in a moment flies. Let wealth, let honour, wait the wedded dame, Auguft her deed, and facred be her fame; Before true paffion all thofe views remove, Fame, wealth, and honour! what are you to Love? The jealous God, when we profane his fires, Those restlefs paffions in revenge infpires, And bids them make mistaken mortals groan, Who feek in love for aught but love alone. Should at my feet the world's great mafter fall, Himfelf, his throne, his world, I'd fcorn 'em all: Not Cæfar's emprefs would I deign to prove;
No, make me mistress to the man I love.
If there be yet another name more free, More fond than miftrefs, make me that to thee! Oh! happy ftate! when fouls each other draw, When love is liberty, and nature, law: All then is full, poffeffing, and poffefs'd, No craving void left aking in the breast: Ev'n thought meets thought, ere from the lips it part, And each warm wish springs mutual from the heart.
Love will not be confin'd by Maisterie:
When Maifterie comes the Lord of Love anon
Flutters his wings and forthwith is he gone.
This fure is blifs (if blifs on earth there be)
And once the lot of Abelard and me.
Alas how chang'd! what sudden horrors rife!
A naked Lover bound and bleeding lies!
Where, where was Eloïfe? her voice, her hand,
Her ponyard had oppos'd the dire command.
Barbarian, ftay! that bloody ftroke restrain;
The crime was common, common be the pain.
I can no more; by shame, by rage suppress'd,
Let tears and burning blushes speak the rest.
Canft thou forget that fad, that solemn day,
When victims at yon altar's foot we lay?
Canft thou forget what tears that moment fell,
When, warm in youth, I bade the world farewell?
As with cold lips I kifs'd the facred veil,
The shrines all trembled and the lamps grew pale:
Heav'n scarce believ'd the Conqueft it furvey'd,
And Saints with wonder heard the vows I made.
Yet then, to those dread altars as I drew,
Not on the cross my eyes were fix'd but you:
Not grace, or zeal, love only was my call,
And if I lofe thy love, I lofe my all.
Come with thy looks, thy words, relieve my woe;
Thofe ftill at leaft are left thee to beftow.
Still on that breaft enamour'd let me lie,
Still drink delicious poison from thy eye,
Pant on thy lip, and to thy heart be prefs'd;
Give all thou canft-and let me dream the reft.
Ah no! inftru&t me other joys to prize,
With other beauties charm my partial eyes,
Full in my view fet all the bright abode,
And make my foul quit Abelard for God.
Ah think at least thy flock deferves thy care,
Plants of thy hand, and children of thy pray'r. 130
From the falfe world in early youth they fled,
By thee to mountains, wilds, and deferts led.
You rais'd thefe hallow'd walls; the defert fmil'd,
And Paradife was open'd in the Wild.
No weeping orphan faw his father's ftores
Our shrines irradiate, or emblaze the floors;
No filver faints, by dying mifers giv'n,
Here brib'd the rage of ill-requited heav'n:
But fuch plain roofs as Piety could raise,
And only vocal with the Maker's praife.
In these lone walls (their days eternal bound)
These mofs-grown domes with fpiry turrets crown'd,
Where awful arches make a noon-day night,
And the dim windows fhed a folemn light;
Thy eyes diffus'd a reconciling ray,
And gleams of glory brighten'd all the day.
But now no face divine contentment wears,
"Tis all blank sadness, or continual tears.
See how the force of others pray'rs I try,
(O pious fraud of am'rous charity!)
VER. 133. You rais'd thefe hallow'd walls;] He founded the Monaftery, P.
But why should I on others pray'rs depend?
Come thou, my father, brother, husband, friend!
Ah let thy handmaid, fifter, daughter move,
And all those tender names in one, thy love!
The darksome pines that o'er yon rocks reclin'd 155
Wave high, and murmur to the hollow wind,
The wand'ring streams that shine between the hills,
The grots that echo to the tinkling rills,
The dying gales that pant upon the trees,
The lakes that quiver to the curling breeze;
No more these scenes my meditation aid,
Or lull to reft the vifionary maid.
But o'er the twilight groves and dusky caves,
Long-founding ifles, and intermingled graves,
Black Melancholy fits, and round her throws
A death-like filence, and a dread repose:
Her gloomy prefence faddens all the scene,
Shades ev'ry flow'r, and darkens ev'ry green,
Deepens the murmur of the falling floods,
And breathes a browner horror on the woods. 170
Yet here for ever, ever muft I stay;
Sad proof how well a lover can obey!
Death, only death, can break the lasting chain;
And here, ev'n then, fhall my cold duft remain;
Here all its frailties, all its flames refign,
And wait till 'tis no fin to mix with thine.
Ah wretch! believ'd the fpoufe of God in vain, Confefs'd within the flave of love and man,
Affift me, heav'n! but whence arose that pray'r ?
Sprung it from piety, or from despair?
Ev`n here, where frozen chastity retires,
Love finds an altar for forbidden fires.
I ought to grieve, but cannot what I ought;
I mourn the lover, not lament the fault;
I view my crime, but kindle at the view,
Repent old pleasures, and follicit new ;
Now turn'd to heav'n, I weep my paft offence,
Now think of thee, and curfe my innocence.
Of all affliction taught a lover yet,
"Tis fure the hardest science to forget!
How fhall I lose the fin, yet keep the sense,
And love th' offender, yet deteft th' offence?
How the dear object from the crime remove,
Or how distinguish penitence from love?
Unequal task, a paffion to refign,
For hearts fo touch'd, fo pierc'd, so loft as mine!
Ere fuch a foul regains its peaceful state,
How often must it love, how often hate!
How often hope, despair, resent, regret,
Conceal, difdain,- do all things but forget?
But let heav'n seize it, all at once 'tis fir'd;
Not touch'd, but rapt; not waken'd, but inspir'd!
Oh come! oh teach me nature to fubdue,
Renounce my love, my life, my self- and you.
Fill my fond heart with God alone, for he
Alone can rival, can fucceed to thee.