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Should at my feet the world's great master fall,
Himself, his throne, his world, I'd scorn them all :
Not Cæsar's empress would I deign to prove ;
No, make me mistress to the man I love.

If there be yet another name more free,
More fond than mistress, make me that to thee! 90
O! happy state! when souls each other draw,
When love is liberty, and nature law :
All then is full, possessing, and possess’d,
No craving void left aching in the breast :
Ev’n thought meets thought, ere from the lips it part,
And each warm with springs mutual from the heart.
This fure is bliss (if bliss on earth there be)
And once the lot of Abelard and me.

Alas, how chang'd! what sudden horrors rise ! A naked lover bound and bleeding lies ! Where, where was Eloise ? her voice, her hand, Her poynard had oppos’d the dire command. Barbarian, stay! that bloody stroke restrain; The crime was common, common be the pain. I can no more; by shame, by rage suppressid, 105 Let tears and burning blushes speak the rest.

Canft thou forget that fad, that solemn day, When victims at yon altar's foot we lay? Canst thou forget what tears that moment fell, When, warm in youth, I bade the world farewell ? 110 As with cold lips I kissed the sacred veil, The shrines all trembled, and the lamps grew pale: Heaven scarce belier'd the Conquest it furvey'd, And Saints with wonder heard the vows I made.




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Yet then, to those dread altars as I drew,

Not on the erofs my eyes were fix’d, but you :
Not grace, or zeal, love only was my call,
And if I lose thy love, I lose my

Come! with tlay looks, thy words, relieve my woé ;
Those still at least are left thee to bestow.
Still on that breast enamour'd let me lie,
Still drink delicious poison from thy eye,
Pant on thy lip, and to thy heart be press’d;
Give all thou canst and let me dream the rest.
Ah, no! instruct me other joys to prize,

With other beauties charm my partial eyes,
Full in my view fet all the bright abode,
And make my soul quit Abelard for God.

Ah think at least thy flock deserves thy care,
Plants of thy hand, and children of thy prayer, 130
From the false world in early youth they fled,
By thee to mountains, wilds, and deserts led.
You rais'd these hallow'd walls; the desert smild,
And paradise was open’d in the wild.
No weeping orphan saw his father's stores
Our shrines irradiate, or emblaze the floors ;
No silver saints, by dying mifers given,
Here brib'd the rage of ill-requited Heaven;
But such plain roofs as Piety could raise,
And only vocal with the Maker's praise.
In these lone walls (their days eternal bound)
These moss-grown domes with spiry turrets crown'd,
Where awful arches make a noon-day night,
And the dim windows thed a solemn light;




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Thy eyes diffus'd a reconciling ray,

145 And gleams of glory brighten'd all the day. But now no face divine contentment wears, 'Tis all blank sadness, or continual tears. See how the force of others prayers I try, (O pious fraud of amorous charity!)

150 But why should I on others prayers depend? Come thou, my father, brother, husband, friend ! Ah, let thy handmaid, sister, daughter," move, And all those tender names in one, thy love! The darksome pines that o'er yon rocks reclin'd, 155 Wave high, and murmur to the hollow wind, The wandering streams that shine between the hills, The grots that echo to the tinkling rills, The dying gales that pant upon the trees, The lakes that quiver to the curling breeze;

No more these scenes my meditation aid,
Or lull to rest the visionary maid.
But o’er the twilight groves and dusky caves,
Long-founding aisles, and intermingled graves,
Black Melancholy fits, and round her throws 165
A death-like silence, and a dread repose ;
Her gloomy presence laddens all the scene,
Shades every flower, and darkens every green,
Deepens the murmur of the falling floods,
And breathes a browner horror on the woods. 170

Yet here for ever, ever must I stay;
Sad proof how well a lover can obey !
Death, only death, can break the lasting chain;
And here, ev'n then, shall my cold dust remain;




Here all its frailties, all its flames resign,

175 And wait till 'tis no fin to mix with thine.

Ah, wretch! believ'd the spouse of God in vain,
Confess:d within the slave of love and man.
Aslift me, Heaven! but whence arose that prayer?
Sprung it from piety, or from despair?
Ev'n here, where frozen chastity retires,
Love finds an altar for forbidden fires,
I ought to grieve, but cannot what I ought;
I mourn the lover, not lament the fault;
I view my crime, but kindle at the view,
Repent old pleasures, and folicit new;
Now turn'd to heaven, I weep my past offence,
Now think of thee, and curse my innocence.
Of all affliction taught a lover yet,
'Tis sure the hardest science to forget!

How shall I lose the sin, yet keep the sense,
And love th' offender, yet detest th' offence ?
How the dear object from the crime remove,
Or how diftinguish penitence from love?
Unequal talk! a passion to resign,

195 For hearts so touch'd, fo pierc'd, so loft as mine! Ere such a soul regains its peaceful state, How often must it love, how often hate ! How often hope, despair, resent, regret, Conceal, disdain, -do all things but forget ? But let heaven seize it, all at once 'tis fir'd: Not touch'd, but rapt; not waken'd, but inspir’d! Oh come! oh teach me nature to subdue, Renounce my love, my life, myself and y



Fill my


fond heart with God alone, for he

205 Alone can rival, can succeed to thee.

How happy is the blameless Vestal's lot; The world forgetting, by the world forgot! Eternal sun-fhine of the spotless mind! Each prayer accepted, and each with resign'd; Labour and rest, that equal periods keep; « Obedient slumbers that can wake and weep;" Desires compos’d, affections ever even; Tears that delight, and fighs that waft to heaven. Grace shines around her with sereneft beams, 215 And whispering Angels prompt her golden dreams. For her th' unfading rose of Eden blooms, And wings of Seraphs shed divine perfumes, For her the spouse prepares the bridal ring, For her white virgins Hymenäals fing, To sounds of heavenly harps she dies away, And melts in visions of eternal day.

Far other dreams my erring foul employ, Far other raptures, of unholy joy: When, at the close of each sad, sorrowing day, 225 Fancy restores what vengeance snatch'd away, Then conscience fleeps, and leaving nature free, All my loose foul unbounded fprings to thee. O curst, dear horrors of all-conscious night! How glowing guilt exalts the keen delight ! 230 Provoking Demons all restraint remove, And stir within me every source of love. I hear thee, view thee, gaze o'er all thy charms, And round thy phantom glue my clasping arms.

I wake:


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