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Upon a lady losing a sprig of Myrtle, presented to her by her husband, on the morning of their marriage.

1 NOW beneath pale Luna's beam,
2 Fairies sport, while mortals dream;
3 Cruel schemes they plan to-night,
4 Mischief charms each pigmy sprite;
5 Hear, enraged, their frowning queen,
6 Thus exclaim, with jealous spleen;
7 Shall a mortal dare be blest,
8 When sad Titania cannot rest?
9 Thwart their marriage, fairy elves,
10 Or scorn and hate pursue yourselves.
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11 Thrice I wave my magic wand,
12 Your signal to prepare;
13 Obedient to your queen's command,
14 Ascend the ambient air.
15 Five times compass round the earth
16 Ere day your motions bind;
17 Thence bring each scatter'd mischief forth,
18 Pandora once confin'd.
19 Blooms yon bower in summer's pride?
20 Soon shall my fell revenge,
21 Poisons in every beauty hide,
22 And nature's charms shall change.
23 Quick as thought my elves begone,
24 Impatient as my mind,
25 Fly swift before the tardy moon,
26 And leave e'en light behind.
27 Instant see the work is wrought,
28 See the scattered mischiefs brought;
29 In Palemon's fav'rite bower,
30 Quick they taint each beauteous flower.
31 Diseases weave their baneful net,
32 Round the sweetest minionet.
33 On the jessamine's snowy breast,
34 Cold Indifference takes its rest;
35 While Discord's evils to disclose,
36 It lurks within the blooming rose.
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37 Jealousy its venom twines,
38 Round the greenest eglantines;
39 Deceit, which ever wounds unseen,
40 Takes the gay carnation's mien.
41 While beneath the woodbine's shade,
42 Sad Despair reclines his head,
43 Sullen, tainting by his power,
44 The freshest leaf and sweetest flower;
45 But the myrtle I deplore,
46 Of love the emblem ah! no more.
47 Envy spreads her hateful sway,
48 All its wonted charms decay.
49 The hour that gives a life to joy,
50 Must all our anxious thoughts employ.
51 Palemon, early from his bower,
52 Plucks many a sweet and fatal flower;
53 And oft he would with transport cry,
54 I take you to a milder sky.
55 Accept, he said, most lov'd and fair,
56 The sweets which may with thee compare.
57 Health o'er her cheek its roses threw,
58 Diseases ghastly forms withdrew,
59 She look'd and cold Indifference fled,
60 The jessamine hung its pallid head;
61 She spoke the blooming rose must die,
62 For discord turn'd to harmony.
63 The eglantine was next subdued,
64 For jealousy can ne'er obtrude,
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65 Where conscious worth and native sense,
66 Inspire a generous confidence.
67 Her candid speech, her heart sincere,
68 The gay carnation next must fear;
69 Honour and innocence still rise,
70 Superior to a low disguise.
71 The woodbine felt a quick decay,
72 For soon she smiled despair away;
73 Graces which other ills subdued,
74 Were but bitter Envy's food.
75 Palemon, with a cheering eye,
76 Observed, that beauty bloom'd to die,
77 But Hebe's merit still would prove,
78 The bond of undecaying love.
79 Preserving still its native hue,
80 Unimpair'd the myrtle grew,
81 Palemon vow'd to plant with care,
82 What withering blasts had meant to spare,
83 And with th' auspicious day's return,
84 In Hebe's breast it should be worn.
85 Cynthia now with silver light,
86 Gilds the silent hour of night;
87 Again the fairy tribe are seen,
88 And sprightly moves their alter'd queen;
89 She laughing tells her kinder sprite,
90 The mischiefs they had wrought last night.
91 And see, she cried, stern envy bloom,
92 For many a woe and wrong to come;
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93 Swift the friend of lovers flies,
94 To steal the baneful cherish'd prize;
95 But this fair Hebe did not see,
96 Or would she ask an elegy?


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Title (in Source Edition): [THE MYRTLE] Upon a lady losing a sprig of Myrtle, presented to her by her husband, on the morning of their marriage.
Author: Eliza Day
Genres: occasional poem

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Daye, Eliza, b. ca. 1734. Poems, on Various Subjects. Liverpool: Printed by J. M'Creery, 1798, pp. [1]-5. [2],x,[4],258p.; 8° (ESTC T132359) (Page images digitized by University of California Libraries.)

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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.

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