"Stanzas." by Mary Darby Robinson (1758-1800)
WHY, if perchance thy gaze I meet,
Glows my wan cheek with crimson die ?
Why do my languid pulses beat
With quick'ning throbs when thou art nigh ?
Why does my fault'ring language fail;
My trembling form its strength forego;
Why does my quiv'ring lip turn pale,
Chill'd by the touch of secret woe ?
Say, when thy tuneful voice I hear,
Why does my panting bosom swell ?
Why steals the fond, unbidden tear,
The soul's dire agony to tell ?
Why, when my feeble hand you press,
And whisper Passion's transports sweet
Why do I shun the dear caress,
And dread thy ardent flame to meet?
Ah! 'tis because too well I know,
LOVE is a tyrant, fickle boy;
His smiles conceal the pangs of woe,
His dearest gift is short-liv'd joy.
He soars aloft on LOVER'S sighs;
In breaking HEARTS his temple rears;
With barb'rous pow'r he BLINDS our EYES,
Then laughing MOCKS OUR FALLING TEARS.