"Stanzas to Love." by Mary Darby Robinson (1758-1800)
TELL ME, LOVE, when I rove o'er some far distant plain,
Shall I cherish the passion that dwells in my breast ?
Or will ABSENCE subdue the keen rigours of pain,
And the swift wing of TIME bring the balsam of rest ?
Shall the image of HIM I was born to adore,
Inshrin'd in my bosom my idol still prove ?
Or seduced by caprice shall fine feeling no more,
With the incense of TRUTH gem the altar of LOVE ?
When I view the deep tint of the dew-dropping Rose,
Where the bee sits enamour'd its nectar to sip;
Then, ah say, will not memory fondly disclose
The softer vermilion that glow'd on HIS lip ?
Will the SUN when he rolls in his chariot of fire,
So dazzle my mind with the glare of his rays,
That my senses one moment shall cease to admire
The more perfect refulgence that beam'd in HIS lays ?
When the shadows of twilight steal over the plain,
And the NIGHTINGALE pours its lorn plaint in the grove,
Ah! will not the fondness that thrills thro' the strain,
Then recall to my mind HIS dear accents of Love !
When I gaze on the STARS that bespangle the sky,
Ah! will not their mildness some pity inspire;
Like the soul-touching softness that beam'd in HIS eye,
When the tear of REGRET chill'd the flame of DESIRE ?
Then spare, thou dear Urchin, thou soother of pain,
Oh ! spare the sweet PICTURE engrav'd on my heart;
As a record of LOVE let it ever remain;
My bosom thy tablet–thy pencil A DART.