“Courage in Love”
My Eyes with Floods of Tears o’erflow,
My Bosom heaves with constant Woe;
Those Eyes, which thy Unkindess swells,
That Bosom, where thy Image dwells!
How could I hope so weak a Flame 5
Could ever warm that matchless Dame,
When none Elysium must behold,
Without a radiant Bough of Gold?
‘Tis hers, in Spheres to shine,
At distance to admire, is mine: 10
Doom’d, like th’ enamour’d Youth, to groan
For a new Goddess form’d of Stone.
While thus I spoke, Love’s gentle Pow’r
Descended from th’ Aethereal Bow’r;
A Quiver at his Shoulder hung, 15
A Shaft he grasp’d, and Bow unstrung.
All Nature own’d and genial God,
And the Spring flourish’d where he trod:
My Heart, no Stranger to the Guest,
Flutter’d, and labour’d in my Breast; 20
When with a Smile that kindles Joy
Ev’n in the Gods, began the Boy:
How vain these Tears? is Man decreed,
By being abject, to succeed?
Hop’st thou by meagre Looks to move? 25
Are Women frighten’d into Love?
He most prevails who nobly dares;
In Love an Hero, as in Wars:
Ev’n Venus may be known to yield,
But ‘tis when Mars disputes the Field: 30
Sent from a daring Hand my Dart
Strikes deep into the Fair-one’s Heart:
To Winds and Waves thy Cares bequeath,
A Sign, is but a waste of Breath:
What tho’ gay Youth, and every Grace 35
That Beauty boasts, adorn her Face,
Yet Goddesses have deign’d to wed,
And take a Mortal to their Bed:
And Heav’n, when Gifts of Incense rise,
Accepts it, tho’ it cloud their Skies. 40
Mark! how this Marygold conceals
Her Beauty, and her Bosom veils,
How from the dull Embrace she flies
Of Phoebus, when his Beams arise;
But when his Glory he displays, 45
And darts around his fiercer Rays,
Her Charms she opens, and receives
The vigorous God into her Leaves.
7 Elysium “The supposed state or abode of the blessed after death in Greek mythology” (OED).
11 Youth “Polyderus, who pined to death for the Love of a beautiful Statue” [Author’s note].
13 Love’s gentle Pow’r Cupid.
14 Aethereal “Of or relating to heaven, God, or the gods; heavenly, celestial” (OED).
29 Venus “Roman goddess of beauty and love” (OED).
30 Mars “The god of war of the ancient Romans” (OED).
41 Marygold “A plant with golden or yellow flowers” (OED).
44 Phoebus “Apollo as the god of light or of the sun; the sun personified” (OED).
SOURCE: Poems on Several Occasions, Second Edition (London, 1739), pp. 226-229. [Google Books]
Edited by Charlie May