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TO MY LORD BUCKHURST.1
VERY YOUNG, PLAYING WITH A CAT.
Take care, O beauteous child, take care,
The queen of love, who soon will see
AN ODE. 1 While from our looks, fair nymph, you guess
The secret passions of our mind,
A heart to love and grief inclined. 1 Lionel, Duke of Dorset, to whom Prior dedicated the first edition of his pocms.
2 There needs, alas! but little art,
To have this fatal secret found;
'Tis certain you may show the wound.
3 How can I see you, and not love,
While you as opening east are fair? While cold as northern blasts you prove,
How can I love, and not despair!
4 The wretch in double fetters bound
Your potent mercy may release;
Fair prophetess, my grief would cease.
In vain you tell your parting lover,
Be gentle, and in pity choose
THE DESPAIRING SHEPHERD. 1 Alexis shunned his fellow swains, Their rural sports, and jocund strains,
(Heaven guard us all from Cupid's bow !) He lost his crook, he left his flocks; And wandering through the lonely rocks,
He nourished endless woe.
2 The nymphs and shepherds round him came: His grief some pity, others blame,
The fatal cause all kindly seek;
He sighed, but would not speak.
3 Clorinda came among the rest;
And asked the reason of his woe;
She feared too much to know.
4 The shepherd raised his mournful head; And will you pardon me, he said,
While I the cruel truth reveal; Which nothing from my breast should tear, Which never should offend your ear, But that
bid me tell ?
5 'Tis thus I rove, 'tis thus complain, Since you appeared upon the plain;
You are the cause of all my care:
Your eyes ten thousand dangers dart,
I love and I despair.
6 Too much, Alexis, I have heard;
I pardon you, she cried;
you shall promise ne'er again To breathe your vows, or speak your pain :
He bowed, obeyed, and died !
TO THE HONOURABLE CHARLES
1 Howe’ER, 'tis well, that while mankind
Through Fate's perverse meander errs, He can imagined pleasures find,
To combat against real cares.
2 Fancies and notions he pursues,
Which ne'er had being but in thought; Each, like the Grecian artist,? woos
The image he himself has wrought.
3 Against experience he believes;
He argues against demonstration;
And sets his judgment by his passion.
4 The hoary fool, who many days
Has struggled with continued sorrow,
1 Afterwards Earl of Halifax. - Apelles.
5 To-morrow comes; 'tis noon, 'tis night;
6 Our hopes, like towering falcons, aim
7 Our anxious pains we, all the day,
We find the labour gave the joy.
8 At distance through an artful glass
9 If we see right, we see our woes;
10 We wearied should lie down in death; This cheat of life would take no more; If you thought fame but empty breath; I, Phillis, but a perjured whore.