Rinaldo to Laura Maria
THOU! whose sublime poetic art
Can pierce the pulses of the heart,
Can force the treasur'd tear to flow
In prodigality of woe;
Or lure each jocund bliss to birth
Amid the sportive bow'rs of mirth:
LAURA DIVINE! I call thee now
To yonder promontory's brow
That props the skies; while at its feet
With fruitless ire the billows beat,
There let my fainting sense behold
Those sapphire orbs their heaven unfold,
While from thy lips vermilion bow
Sweet melody her shafts shall throw
Yet do not, do not yield delight,
Nor with dear visions bless my sight.
Grant me despair, thou mightiest Muse!
O'er the vast scene thy spells diffuse,
And with a mad terrific strain
Conjure up demons from the main:
Storms upon storms indignant heap,
Bid Ocean howl, and Nature weep;
'Till the Creator blush to see
How horrible His World can be;
While I will glory to blaspheme,
And make the joys of hell my theme.
Hah! check this frenzy, spare my soul,
O'er my parch'd cheek soft sorrows roll,
Subdue this vain impassion'd rage,
An atom's energies assuage;
Nor let a mortal wretch presume
To invocate so dire a doom.
What tho' the EAGLE sits forlorn
And swoln and sad awaits the morn,
When he may wave his golden wing,
From Night's detested gloom to spring,
And with the Sun's advancement fly,
In full meridian blaze to die:
Yet shall the chirping FINCH decay,
Upon the hedgerow's wither'd spray,
Ere the first beam of light is found,
And drop unnotic'd to the ground.
So I alas! shall never see
The dawn of hope awake for me,
Still as I turn, new storms appear,
And darker lours this mental sphere.
Ah, who shall one short comfort give,
Or teach my struggling thought to live;
What hand my bleeding bosom bind,
What MOSELEY medicate my mind?
What Star disperse the thick'ning shade,
That bids my restless Being fade?
Yet I have seen the Lord of Day
Dart from his car the burning ray,
And rush a hero to the fight,
Across the pendant plains of light:
I've seen the bashful Moon aspire
To bind her brow with mimic fire,
And o'er the calm translucent air
Diffusive shake her silver hair.
I've paus'd enraptur'd at the tone
That from the Evening Copse is thrown
By the wild Poet of the glade,
Who rests his wing beneath the shade,
And I have prov'd th' unequal bliss
That burns upon the crimson kiss,
When true adoring souls unite
To perish in the proud delight.
These now are lost to meI stand
Alone in ev'ry peopled land,
No pleasure now my cold heart cheers,
The future points a vale of tears
Love rends my name from his bright page,
And yields it to approaching age
Then lead me, LAURA! to the bow'r
Where sadly droops each with'ring flow'r,
Where pois'nous shrubs disease exhale,
And fev'rish vapours load the gale;
There sink me to the sordid grief
That meanly supplicates relief;
There tell me I am most despis'd,
E'en by thyself, whom most I priz'd,
So shall I gladly welcome fate,
And perish in thy perfect hate:
So shall I better bear th' eternal pain,
Never to see thy Form, or hear thy Voice again.