|Earl of Rochester
Gabriel Metsu. Man Writing a Letter, 1662-65.
Cælia, that faithful servant you disown
Would in obedience keep his love his own;
Rut bright ideas, such as you inspire,
We can no more conceal, than not admire.
My heart at home in my own breast did dwell,
Like humble hermit in a peaceful cell:
Unknown and undisturb'd it rested there,
Stranger alike to Hope and to Despair.
Now Love with a tumultuous train invades
The sacred quiet of those hallow'd shades:
His fatal flames shine out to every eye,
Like blazing comets in a winter sky.
How can my passion merit your offence,
That challenges so little recompense?
For I am one born only to admire,
Too humble e'er to hope, scarce to desire,
A thing, whose bliss depends upon your will,
Who would be proud you'd deign to use him ill.
Then give me leave to glory in my chain,
My fruitless sighs, and my unpitied pain.
Let me but ever love, and ever be
The' example of your power and cruelty.
Since so much scorn does in your breast reside,
Be more indulgent to its mother, Pride:
Kill all you strike, and trample on their graves;
But own the fates of your neglected slaves:
When in the crowd your's undistinguish'd lies,
You give away the triumph of your eyes.
Perhaps (obtaining this) you'll think I find
More mercy than your anger has design'd:
But Love has carefully design'd for me
The last perfection of misery;
For to my state the hopes of common peace,
Which every wretch enjoys in death, must cease.
My worst of fates attend me in my grave,
Since, dying, I must be no more your slave.
The Works of the British Poets. Vol X. Ezekiel Sanford, ed.
Philadelphia: Mitchell, Ames, and White, 1819. 188-9.
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