Page images



How blest the youth whom fate ordains
A kind relief for all his pains,

In some admirèd fair;

Whose tenderest wishes find expressed
Their own resemblance in her breast,
Exactly copied there !

What good soe'er the gods dispense,
The enjoyment of its influence

Still on her love depends;

Her love the shield that guards his heart,
Or wards the blow, or blunts the dart
That peevish Fortune sends.

Thus, Delia, while thy love endures,
The flame my happy breast secures
From Fortune's fickle power;
Change she may list, she may increase,
But not abate my happiness,

Conformed by thee before.

Thus while I share her smiles with thee,
Welcome, my love, shall ever be

The favours she bestows;

Yet not on those I found my bliss,
But in the noble ecstacies

The faithful bosom knows.

And when she prunes her wing for flight,
And flutters nimbly from my sight,
Contented I resign

Whate'er she gave; thy love alone
I can securely call my own,

Happy while that is mine.

William Cowper.



IN a soft-complexioned sky,

Fleeting rose and kindling grey, Have you seen Aurora fly

At the break of day?

So my maiden, so my plighted May,
Blushing cheek and gleaming eye
Lifts to look my way.

Where the inmost leaf is stirred
With the heart-beat of the grove,
• Have you heard a hidden bird
Cast her note above?

So my lady, so my lovely Love,
Echoing Cupid's prompted word,
Makes a tune thereof.

Have you seen, at heaven's mid-height,
In the moon-rack's ebb and tide,
Venus leap forth burning white,

Dian pale and hide?

So my bright breast-jewel, so my bride,
One sweet night, when fear takes flight,
Shall leap against my side.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti.



IF ove were what the rose is,

And I were like the leaf,
Our lives would grow together
In sad or singing weather,

Blown field or flowerful closes,
Green pleasures or grey grief
If love were what the rose is,
And I were like the leaf.

If I were what the words are,

And love were like the tune, With double sound and single Delight our lips would mingle, With kisses glad as birds are

That get sweet rain at noon; If I were what the words are, And love were like the tune.

If you were life, my darling,

And I your Love were death, We'd shine and snow together Ere March made sweet the weather With daffodil and starling

And hours of fruitful breath;
If you were life, my darling,
And I your Love were death.

If you were thrall to sorrow,
And I were page to joy,
We'd play for lives and seasons
With loving looks and treasons
And tears of night and morrow

And laughs of maid and boy;
If you were thrall to sorrow,
And I were page to joy.

If you were April's lady,

And I were lord of May,

We'd throw with leaves for hours
And draw for days with flowers,

Till day like night were shady,

And night were bright like day;

If you were April's lady,

And I were lord in May,

If you were queen of pleasure,
And I were king of pain,
We'd hunt down love together,
Pluck out his flying feather,
And teach his feet a measure,
And find his mouth a rein;
If you were queen of pleasure,
And I were king of pain.

Algernon Charles Swinburne.



O LOVE, turn from the unchanging sea, and gaze
Down those grey slopes upon the year grown old,
A-dying mid the autumn-scented haze,

That hangeth o'er the hollow in the wold,

Where the wind-bitten ancient elms enfold

Grey church, long barn, orchard, and red-roofed stead, Wrought in dead days for men a long while dead.

Come down, O Love! may not our hands still meet Since still we live to-day, forgetting June, Forgetting May, deeming October sweet

-O hearken, hearken, through the afternoon, The grey tower sings a strange old tinkling tune! Sweet, sweet, and sad, the toiling year's last breath, Too satiate of life to strive with death.

And we too-will it not be soft and kind,

That rest from life, from patience and from pain, That rest from bliss we know not when we find,

That rest from love which ne'er the end can gain ?— -Hark, how the tune swells that erewhile did wane! Look up, love!-Ah, cling close and never move! How can I have enough of life and love!

William Morris.



My dear and only Love, I pray
That little world of thee
Be governed by no other sway
But purest monarchy :
For if confusion have a part,

Which virtuous souls abhor,
And hold a synod in thine heart,

I'll never love thee more.

As Alexander I will reign,
And I will reign alone;

My thoughts did evermore disdain
A rival on my throne.

He either fears his fate too much, Or his deserts are small,

Who dares not put it to the touch,
To gain or lose it all.

But I will reign and govern still,
And always give the law,
And have each subject at my will,
And all to stand in awe :
But 'gainst my batteries if I find
Thou kick or vex me sore,
As that thou set me up a blind,
I'll never love thee more.

And in the empire of thy heart,
Where I should solely be,
If others do pretend a part,
Or dare to vie with me:
Or if committees thou erect,
Or go on such a score,
I'll smiling mock at thy neglect,

And never love thee more.

« PreviousContinue »