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A Pastoral Dialogue

STay gentle Nymph, nor so solic'tous be, To fly his sight that still would gaze on thee.
With other Swaines I see thee oft converse, Content to speak, and hear what they rehearse: But I unhappy, when I e're draw nigh, Thou streight do'st leave both Place, and Company.
If this thy Flight, from fear of Harm doth flow, Ah, sure thou little of my Heart dost know.
What wonder, Swain, if the Pursu'd by Flight, Seeks to avoid the close Pursuers Sight ? And if no Cause I have to fly from thee, Then thou hast none, why thou dost follow me.
If to the Cause thou wilt propitious prove, Take it at once, fair Nymph, and know 'tis Love.
To my just Pray'r, ye favouring Gods attend, These Vows to Heaven with equal Zeal I send, My flocks from Wolves, my Heart from Love, defend.
The Gods which did on thee such Charms bestow, Ne're meant thou shouldst to Love have prov'd a Foe, That so Divine a Power thou shouldst defy.
Could there a Reason be, I'd ask thee, why ? Alin.
Why does Licoris, once so bright and gay, Pale as a Lilly pine her self away ? Why does Elvira, ever sad, frequent The lonely shades ? Why does yon Monument Which we upon our Left Hand do behold, Hapless Amintas youthful Limbs enfold ? Say Shepherd, say: But if thou wilt not tell, Damon, Philisides, and Strephon well Can speak the Cause, whose Falshood each upbraids, And justly me from Cruel Love disswades.
Hear me ye Gods.
Me and my Flocks forsake, If e're like them my promis'd Faith I brake.
By others sad Experience wise I'le be.
But such thy Wisdom highly injures me: And nought but Death can give a Remedy.
Yet Learn'd in Physick, what does it avail, That you by Art (wherein ye never fail) Present Relief have for the Mad-dogs Bite ? The Serpents sting ? The poisonous Achonite ? While helpless Love upbraids your baffl'd skill, And far more certain, than the rest, doth kill.
Fond Swain, go dote upon the new blown Rose, Whose Beauty with the Morning did disclose, And e're Days King forsakes th'enlightened Earth, Wither'd, returns from whence it took its Birth.
As much Excuse will there thy Love attend, As what thou dost on Womens Beauty spend.
Ah Nymph, those Charms which I in thee admire, Can, nor before, nor with thy Life expire.
From Heaven they are, and such as ne're can dye, But with thy Soul they will ascend the Sky ! For though my ravisht Eye beholds in Thee, Such beauty as I can in none else see; That Nature there alone is without blame, Yet did not this my faithful Heart enflame: Nor when in Dance thou mov'st upon the Plaine, Or other Sports pursu'st among the Train Of choicest Nymphs, where thy attractive Grace Shews thee alone, though thousands be in place ! Yet not for these do I Alinda love, Hear then what 'tis, that does my Passion move.
That Thou still Earliest at the Temple art, And still the last that does from thence depart; Pans Altar is by thee the oftnest prest, Thine's still the fairest Offering and the Best; And all thy other Actions seem to be, The true Result of Unfeign'd Piety; Strict in thy self, to others Just and Mild; Careful, nor to Deceive, nor be Beguil'd; Wary, without the least Offence, to live, Yet none than thee more ready to forgive ! Even on thy Beauty thou dost Fetters lay, Least, unawares, it any should betray.
Far unlike, sure, to many of thy Sex, Whose Pride it is, the doting World to vex; Spreading their Universal Nets to take Who e're their artifice can captive make.
But thou command'st thy Sweet, but Modest Eye, That no Inviting Glance from thence should fly.
Beholding with a Gen'rous Disdain, The lighter Courtships of each amorous Swain; Knowing, true Fame, Vertue alone can give: Nor dost thou greedily even that receive.
And what 'bove this thy Character can raise ? Thirsty of Merit, yet neglecting Praise ! While daily these Perfections I discry, Matchless Alinda makes me daily dy.
Thou absent, Flow'rs to me no Odours yield, Nor find I freshness in the dewy Field; Not Thyrsis Voice, nor Melibeus Lire, Can my Sad Heart with one Gay Thought inspire; My thriving Flock ('mong Shepherds Vows the Chief) I unconcern'd behold, as they my Grief.
This I profess, if this thou not believe, A further proof I ready am to give, Command: there's nothing I'le not undertake, And, thy Injunctions, Love will easie make.
Ah, if thou couldst incline a gentle Ear, Of plighted Faith, and hated Hymen hear; Thou hourly then my spotless Love should'st see, That all my Study, how to please, should be; How to protect thee from disturbing Care, And in thy Griefs to bear the greatest share; Nor should a Joy, my Warie Heart surprize, That first I read not in thy charming Eyes.
If ever I to any do impart, My, till this present hour, well-guarded Heart, That Passion I have fear'd, I'le surely prove, For one that does, like to Amintor love.
Ye Gods – Alin.
Shepherd, no more: enough it is that I, Thus long to Love, have listn'd patiently.
Farewel: Pan keep thee, Swain.
And Blessings Thee, Rare as thy Vertues, still accompany.

Poem by Anne Killigrew
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Book: Reflection on the Important Things