[Page 60]


1 O Friend too dearly lov'd, O name ador'd!
2 My fancy's idol, and my reason's lord!
3 In vain a powerful duty bids us part,
4 Thou still art present to this bleeding heart.
5 Could the light breeze beyond the mountains bear
6 The sighs of anguish, and the silent tear;
7 Could my sad thoughts be present to thy mind,
8 Where thy idea with my life is twin'd,
9 E'en thou content, wouldst own I stand the test,
10 And well deserve the heart I have possess'd.
11 Dull ling'ring time creeps sad and slowly on,
12 Health fades, and youth with all its charms are gone:
13 But love remains unfaded, unimpair'd,
14 Where hope's enchanting voice was never heard;
15 Yet restless wishes, ever anxious cares,
16 All she can feel who loves, and who despairs,
[Page 61]
17 Were fair delights, compar'd to that dark hour,
18 When doubt shall whisper, 'thou art lov'd no more.'
19 O let me sink in earth, that pang to save,
20 And 'scape distraction in the friendly grave!
21 By the wan lustre of the moon's pale beam,
22 I weave in fancy's loom the waking dream;
23 And now, methinks, the debt of nature paid,
24 This agitated heart at peace is laid,
25 A frozen clod, by death's cold hand comprest,
26 Each quiv'ring nerve and throbbing pulse at rest;
27 I mark the mourning train, I hear the knell,
28 Which bids the busy world a last farewell:
29 Then, clad in weeds of woe, I see thee come,
30 For calumny shall slumber o'er the tomb,
31 And frowning virtue shall forgive the tear
32 Which falls on lost affection's sacred bier.
33 With quick and troubled step I hear thee tread
34 The dreary chambers of the silent dead;
35 A gleaming torch directs thy eager eyes
36 To where thy Laura's clay-cold image lies;
37 I see thy bosom heave, I hear thy bursting sighs,
[Page 62]
38 The grief thy fancied form before me wears,
39 Gives comfort to my heart, though steep'd in tears;
40 And guarded thus within fair honour's line,
41 Such misery has charms for souls like mine;
42 Thus to be lov'd, in anguish and despair,
43 Is bliss beyond the joys a giddy world can share.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): LAURA TO PETRARCH.
Genres: address

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Source edition

Hunter, Anne Home (Mrs. John), 1742-1821. Poems, by Mrs. John Hunter. London: Printed for T. Payne, Mews Gate, by T. Bensley, Bolt Court, Fleet Street, 1802, pp. 60-62.  (Page images digitized from a copy in the Bodleian Library [280 e.4058].)

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Typography, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been cautiously modernized. The source of the text is given and all significant editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. This ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.

Other works by Anne Hunter (née Home)