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Line after line my gushing eyes o’erflow,
Led thro' a sad variety of woe:
Now warm in love, now with’ring in thy bloom,
Loft in a convent's solitary gloom !
There stern religion quench'd th' unwilling flame,
There dy'd the best of passions, love and fame.
Yet write, oh write me all, that I may join
Griefs to thy griefs, and echo fighs to thine.
Nor foes nor fortune take this pow'r away;
And is my Abelard less kind than they?
Tears ftill are mine, and those I need not spare,
Love but demands what else were shed in pray'r;
No happier task these faded eyes pursue,
To read and weep is all they now can do.
Then share thy pain, allow that fad relief;
Ah more than share it, give me all thy grief.
Heav'n first taught letters for some wretched maid,
Some. banish'd lover, or some captive aid;
They live, they speak, they breathe what love inspires,
Warm from the soul, and faithful to its fires,
The virgins wish without her fears impart,
Excuse the blush, and pour out all the heart,
Speed the soft intercourse from foul to foul,
And waft a figh from Indus to the Pole.
Thou know's how guiltless first I met thy flame, When love approach'd me under friendship's name; My fancy form'd thee of angelick kind, Some emanation of th' all beauteous mind. Those smiling eyes, attemp'ring ev'ry ray, . Shone sweetly lambent with celestial day: Guiltless I gaz'd; heav'n listen'd while you sung;'! And truths * divine came mended from that tongue.: From lips like those what precepts fail'd to move? Too soon they taught me 'twas no fin to love. Back thro' the paths of pleasing senfe I ran, Nor will’d an angel whom I lov'da mani Dim and remote the joys of saints I fee, Nor envy them that heav'n I lose for théé..
How oft', when press'd to marriage, have I said, Curse on all laws but those which love has made? Love, free as air, at fight of human ties, Spreads his light wings, and in a moment flies. Let wealth, let honour, wait the wedded dame, August her deed, and facred be her fame; Before true paflion all those views remove, Fame, wealth, and honour ! what are you to love?
"He was her preceptor in philosophy and divinity.
The jealous God, when we prophane his fires,
Those restless passions in revenge inspires;
And bids them make mistaken mortals groan,
Who seek in love for ought but love alone.
Should at my feet the world's great master fall,
Himself, his throne, his world, I'd scorn them all:
Not Casar's empress wou'd I deign to prove ;
No, make me mistress to the man I love;
If there be yet another name more free,
More fond than iniftress, make me that to thee !
Oh happy ftate! when fouls each other draw,
When love is liberty, and nature, law:
All then is full, poffefling, and pofleft,
No craving void left aking in the breast:
Ev'n thought meets thought e'er from the lips it part,
And each warm with fprings 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 ponyard, had oppos'd the dire command.
Barbarian stay ! that bloody hand restrain;
The crime was common, common be the pain.
I can no more; by shame, by rage supprest;
Let tears, and burning blushes speak the rest.
Canst thou forget that fad, that folemn 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 farewel?
As with cold lips I kiss'd the sacred veil,
The shrines all trembled, and the lamps grew pale:
Heav'n scarce believ'd the conqueft it survey'd...
And saints with wonder heard the vows I made.
Yet then, to those dread altars as I drew,
Not on the cross 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 all.
Come! with thy looks, thy words, relieve my woe;
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 prest;
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 set 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 pray'r. 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 imblaze the floors; No filver faints, by dying misers giv'n, Here brib'd the rage of ill-requited heav'n: 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 shed a solemn light; Thy eyes diffus'd a reconciling ray, 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 pray'rs I try, (Oh pious fraud of am'rous charity!)
* He founded the Monaftery,