See Lover. Venus.
Great Love! thy Empire o’er the World extends!
To thy soft Charms the whole Creation bends!
On Hills, in Streams, thro’ all the rolling Main,
The leafy Forest, and the grassy Plain,
Thy kindling Warmth the various Nations find,
And rush with Joy to generate their Kind.–
Such is the Nature of that pleasing Smart,
Whose burning Drops distil upon the Heart:
The Fever of the Soul, shot from the Fair,
And the cold Ague of succeeding Care.
If absent, her Idea still appears:
And her sweet Name is chiming in your Ears.–
Nature for Meat and Drink provides a Space,
And when receiv’d they fill their certain Place:
Hence Thirst and Hunger may be satisfy’d;
But this Repletion is to Love deny’d.–
However charming Beauty may excite
The longing Lover’s endless Appetite,
His fond deluded Grasp can only find
Aerial Shapes, that fleet before the Wind.–
As he, who in a Dream with Drought is curst,
And finds no real Drink to quench his Thirst,
Runs to imagin’d Lakes his Heat to steep,
And vainly swills and labours in his Sleep:
So Love with Phantoms cheats our longing Eyes,
Which hourly seeing never satisfies.–
To what Extreams does not thy Tyrant Pow’r
Urge mortal Breasts?–
Of ev’ry Kind on Earth, of Men, and Beasts,
Of Cattle, Fish, and parti–colour’d Fowl,
All rush into this Frenzy, and this Fire:
Love is the same to All.–
What does that Youth, whom unrelenting Love
Consumes, and with his Vitals blends his Fire?–
Darkling, in dead of Night, he swims the Sea
Turbid with sudden Storms: while o’er his Head
Thunders the Gate of Heav’n, and from the Rocks
With dreadful Roar the broken Waves rebound:
Nor can his wretched Parents Tears, nor She,
Th’ unhappy Maid, whose Death must follow his,
Love is a Warfare: and ignoble Sloth
Seems equally contemptible in both:
In both are Watchings, Marches, cruel Cares:
The Soldier thus, and thus the Lover fares.
With Rain he’s drench’d, with the rough Tempest shakes,
And on the naked Ground his Lodging takes.–
What Hares on Athos, Bees on Hybla feed,
Or Berries on the Tree of Pallas breed,
What num’rous Shells the sandy Shores afford,
With Woes as num’rous anxious Love is stor’d.–
Pleas’d with the kindling Warmth of Cupid’s Fire,
We, Day by Day, indulge the fond Desire:
Till like a Serpent it has eat it’s Way,
And, uncontroul’d, does on our Entrails prey.–
Love (Falling in.)
Dear Maid! In Love’s soft Transport tost,
My every Sense at once was lost,
When first I saw Thee: not a Word
Could my disabled Tongue afford:
My Bosom glow’d: the subtle Flame
Ran quick thro’ all my vital Frame:
My Ears with hollow Murmurs rung:
And o’er my Eyes a Darkness hung.–
He view’d her Eyes; like heav’nly Lamps that shone;
He view’d her Lips: too sweet to view alone;
Her Fingers, and her Hands, his Passion raise,
While his fond Tongue grows wanton in their Praise:
Her Shoulders almost bare, her fine turn’d Arms
He views, and thinks her Dress conceals superior Charms.
As Fields of Stubble after Harvest burn:
As Hedges into sudden Blazes turn,
If Passengers, or bring too near, or throw
When Light their Torches by, and kindle all the Row.
So burns the God, consuming with Desire,
And feeding in his Breast a fruitless Fire.–
Europa’s Son she knew above the rest,
And more than well became a Virgin Breast:
In vain the crested Helmet veils his Face,
She thinks it adds a more commanding Grace:
His ample Shield, emboss’d with burnish’d Gold,
Still makes the Bearer lovelier to behold:
When the tough Javelin, with a Whirl, he sends,
His Strength and Skill the sighing Maid commends:
Or, when he strains to draw the circling Bow,
And his fine Limbs a manly Posture show,
Compar’d with Phoebus, he performs so well,
Let her be Judge, and Minos shall excell.
But when the Helm, put off, display’d to Sight,
And set his Features in an open Light:
When vaulting to his Seat, his Steed he press’d,
Caparison’d in Gold, and richly drest:
Himself in Scarlet sumptuously array’d;
New Passions rise, and fire the frantic Maid.
O happy Spear! she cries, that feels his Touch:
Nay, ev’n the Reins he holds are blest too much.–
Thee, with thy Mother, in our Meads I saw,
Gath’ring fresh Apples: I myself thy Guide:
Then Thou wert little: I, just then advanc’d
To my twelfth Year, could barely from the Ground
Touch with my reaching Hand the tender Boughs:
How did I look! how gaze my Soul away!
How did I die! in fatal Error lost!–
In Babylon, whose haughty Queen for State,
Rais’d Walls of Brick magnificently great,
Liv’d Pyramus and Thisbe: lovely Pair!
He found no Eastern Youth his Equal there,
And she beyond the fairest Nymph was fair.
These two, as tho’ by Fate for each design’d,
Were such near Neighbours that their Houses join’d:
Acquaintance grew; Acquaintance they improve
To Friendship: Friendship ripen’d into Love:
Love had been crown’d, but impotently mad,
What Parents could not hinder, they forbad.
She lov’d like Pyramus, like Thisbe He,
For both felt Passion in the last Degree:
But Prudence taught, their Passion to disguise,
(Refraining Words, for fear of list’ning Spies,)
To correspond by Nods, and speaking Eyes.
The Fire of Love the more it is supprest,
The more it glows, and rages in the Breast.–
While on Septimius’ panting Breast,
Acme lean’d her loving Head,
Thus the pleas’d Septimius said.
My dearest Acme if I be
Once alive, and love not Thee,
With a Passion far above
All that e’er was called Love,
In a Lybian Desart may
I become some Lion’s Prey:
Let him, Acme, let him tear
My Breast, when Acme is not there.
The God of Love who stood to hear him
(The God of Love was always near him)
Pleas’d and tickled with the Sound,
Sneez’d aloud: and all around,
The little Loves that waited by,
Bow’d, and bless’d the Augury.
Acme enflam’d with what he said,
Rear’d her gently–bending Head:
And her purple Mouth with Joy
Stretching to the delicious Boy,
Twice (and twice could scarce suffice)
She kiss’d his drunken rolling Eyes.
My little Life! my All! said she,
So may we ever Servants be
To this best God, and ne’er retain
Our hated Liberty again:
So may thy Passion last for Me,
As I a Passion have for Thee:
Greater and fiercer much than can
Be conceiv’d by Thee a Man:
Into my Marrow it is gone,
Fix’d and settl’d in the Bone:
It reigns not only in my Heart,
But runs, like Life, thro’ ev’ry Part.
She spoke: the God of Love aloud
Sneez’d again, and all the Crowd
Of Little Loves that waited by
Bow’d, and bless’d the Augury.
This good Omen, thus from Heav’n,
Like a happy Signal giv’n,
Their Loves and Lives, all four, embrace,
And Hand in Hand run all the Race.
To poor Septimius, (who did now
Nothing else but Acme grow)
Acme’s Bosom was alone
The whole World’s Imperial Throne:
And to the faithful Acme’s Mind,
Septimius was all Humankind.
Happy Lover! happy Fair!
Who e’er knew so blest a Pair?–
So bright, so beauteous now the Youth appears,
As does the Sun, when with refulgent Ray,
The Clouds he dissipates, and gives the Day.
The Sight so warms the fair admiring Maid,
Like Snow she melts: so soon can Youth perswade.
Consent, on eager Wings, succeeds Desire:
And both the Lovers glow with mutual Fire.–
Belov’d by many Maidens of his Kind,
Hylonome alone possess’d his Mind:
Not less her Blandishments than Beauty move,
At once both loving, and confessing Love.
They for each other felt an equal Flame,
And still their sylvan Pleasures were the same:
All Day they hunted: and when Day expir’d,
Together to some shady Cave retir’d.
Uncertain from what Hand, a flying Dart
At Cyllarus was sent: which pierc’d his Heart.
The Jav’lin drawn from out the mortal Wound,
He faints with stagg’ring Steps, and seeks the Ground.
The fair within her Arms receiv’d his Fall,
And strove his wand’ring Spirits to recall:
And while her Hand the streaming Blood oppos’d,
Joyn’d Face to Face his Lips with her’s she clos’d.
Soon as she saw him dead, she seiz’d the Dart,
New–drawn, and reeking from her Lover’s Heart:
To her bare Bosom the sharp Point apply’d,
And wounded fell: and falling by his Side,
Embrac’d him in her Arms, and thus embracing dy’d.–
Offer an Apple to a peevish Boy,
And he’ll refuse it:–Here, my pretty Joy,
Come, prithee take it:–No, Sir, I’ll have none:
Yet, if unoffer’d, he would beg for one.
Like him’s the Lover, who hath su’d in vain;
In doubt he stands, if to return again,
When he’s desir’d; tho’ he would gladly wait
Unask’d, and linger at the hated Gate.
Now she invites, and swears she will be kind:
What! shall I go, or rather cure my Mind?
She shuts me out; then courts me to return:
What! shall I go?–No, tho’ she begs, I’ll scorn.
But lo, his wiser Slave did thus reprove:–
Sir, Reason must be never us’d in Love:
It’s Laws unequal, and its Rules unfit:
For Love’s a Thing, by Nature opposite,
To common Reason, common Sense, and Wit.
All is in Love, unsteady, empty, vain,
There’s War and Peace, and Peace and War again.
Now he that strives to settle such as these,
Meer things of Chance, and faithless as the Seas,
He might as well design to be a Fool
By Art and Wisdom, and run mad by Rule.–
The Tribe of Lovers, led by blind Desire,
Imagine Charms, and then those Charms admire.
Thou view’st thy Mistress with a partial Eye:
No Fault she has, or thou no Fault can’st spy.
The sallow Skin is for the swarthy put,
And Love can make a Slattern of a Slut:
If Cat–ey’d, then a Pallas is thy Love:
If freckled, she’s a party–colour’d Dove.
If little, then she’s Life and Soul all o’er:
An Amazon, the large two–handed Whore.
She stammers: Oh, what Grace in lisping lies!
If she says nothing, to be sure she’s wise.
If shrill, and with a Voice to drown a Choir,
Sharp–witted she must be, and full of Fire.
The lean, consumptive Wench, with Coughs decay’d,
Is call’d a pretty, tight, and slender Maid.
Th’ o’ergrown, a goodly Ceres is exprest,
A Bed–Fellow for Bacchus at the least.
Flat Nose the Name of Joker never misses:
And hanging blobber Lips, but pout for Kisses.–
Says Phoedra to his Man, Believe me, Friend,
To this uneasy Love I’ll put an End:
Shall I run out of all, my Friends disgrace,
And be the first lewd Unthrift of my Race?
Shall I the Neighbour’s nightly Rest invade
At her deaf Doors, with some vile Serenade?
Well hast thou freed thyself, his Man replies,
Go thank the Gods, and offer Sacrifice.
Ah! says the Youth, if we unkindly part,
Will not the poor fond Creature break her Heart?
Weak Soul! and blindly to Destruction led!
She break her Heart! she’ll sooner break thy Head:
She knows her Man, and when you rant and swear,
Can draw you to her with a single Hair.
But shall I not return? Now, when she sues?
Shall I my own and her Desires refuse?
Sir, take your Course: but my Advice is plain:
Once freed, ’tis Madness to resume your Chain.–
As Wax dissolves, as Ice begins to run,
And trickle into Drops before the Sun,
So melts the Youth, and languishes away,
His Beauty withers, and his Limbs decay.–
Mean while Medea seiz’d with fierce Desire,
By Reason strives to quench the raging Fire:
But strives in vain!–Some God, she cries, withstands,
And Reason’s baffl’d Council countermands.
What unseen Power does this Disorder move?
‘Tis Love:–at least, ’tis like what Men call Love.
Wretch! from thy Virgin Breast this Flame expel,
And soon:–Ah could I, all would then be well!
But Love, resistless Love my Soul invades:
Discretion this, Affection that perswades.
I see the Right, and I approve it too:
Condemn the wrong,–and yet the wrong pursue.–
–Now her Face, by turns,
Deadens with Paleness, and with Blushes burns:
As Fire, that sleeping under Ashes lies,
Fresh–blown, and rouz’d, does up in Blazes rise,
So rose her Passion at the Hero’s Sight,
(Tho’ dead it seem’d before,) and rag’d outright.
Her ravish’d Eyes survey him o’er and o’er,
As some bright Being never seen before:
Fixt to his lovely Face she seems to be,
And thinks she gazes on a Deity.
But when he spoke, and press’d her trembling Hand,
And did with tender Words her Aid demand,
With Vows and Oaths to take her for his Bride:
She wept a Flood of Tears, and thus reply’d:
I see my Error, yet to Ruin move,
Nor owe my Fate to Ignorance, but Love.–
Now with consuming Care the restless Queen
Already bleeding, nourishes a Wound
Deep in her Veins, and wastes with hidden Fire.
Much to her Thoughts the Hero’s brave Exploits
Recur, and much the Glories of his Race:
Fix’d in her Soul his Looks, and Words remain:
And soft Repose is banish’d from her Breast.
Th’ unhappy Dido burns, and wildly roves
O’er all the City: like a wounded Deer,
Whom heedless of her Fate, in Cretian Woods
The Swain at Distance with his Shafts pursu’d,
And in her Body left the missive Steel,
Unknowing: She thro’ the Dictoean Groves,
And Thickets flying strays: the mortal Dart
Sticks in her Side.–Sometimes the Trojan Prince
She takes alone, and leads him round the Walls:
Begins to speak, and in the middle stops
Her falt’ring Tongue. At Ev’ning she renews
Her Banquets: fondly begs again to hear
The Trojan Wars: again, while He relates,
She listens fix’d, and hangs upon the Sound.
Then, after All are to their Rest retir’d,
When in her turn the Moon obscure withdraws
Her Light, and setting Stars persuade to Sleep:
Lonely she pines within the empty Court,
Lies on the Couch, which just before she left:
Him absent, absent still she hears, and sees.–
Sometimes, his Father’s Image all her Soul
Possessing, young Ascanius on her Lap
She long detains; if possible, to cheat
With that Amusement her unbounded Love.
Th’ unfinish’d Tow’rs no longer rise; the Youth,
Undisciplin’d in Arms, no longer form
Ports, and strong Fortresses of War: the Works
Reliev’d with soft Repose the Beasts and Birds,
Forget their Cares, and lose the Toils of Day:
Not so the wretched Dido: no sweet Sleep
Lulls her a Moment: In her Eyes, or Soul,
Not for a Moment she receives the Night:
Her Pangs redouble: Love with boiling Foam
Rages afresh, and with a various Tide
Of warring Passions fluctuates in her Breast.-
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