PRAYER FOR INDIFFERENCE.
1 OFT I've implor'd the gods in vain,
2 And pray'd till I've been weary:
3 For once I'll seek my wish to gain
4 Of Oberon the fairy.
5 Sweet airy Being, wanton Spright,
6 Who liv'st in woods unseen;
7 And oft by Cynthia's silver light
8 Trip'st gaily o'er the green;
9 If e'er thy pitying heart was mov'd
10 As ancient stories tell;
11 And fora
a See Midsummer night's dream. th' Athenian maid who lov'd,
12 Thou sought'st a wondrous spell,
13 O! deign once more t' exert thy power!
14 Haply some herb or tree,
15 Sovereign as juice from western flowera
16 Conceals a balm for me.
17 I ask no kind return in love,
18 No tempting charm to please;
19 Far from the heart such gifts remove,
20 That sighs for peace and ease!
21 Nor ease, nor peace, that heart can know,
22 That, like the needle true,
23 Turns at the touch of joy or woe;
24 But, turning, trembles too.
25 Far as distress the soul can wound,
26 'Tis pain in each degree:
27 'Tis bliss but to a certain bound —
28 Beyond — is agony.
29 Then take this treacherous sense of mine,
30 Which dooms me still to smart;
31 Which pleasure can to pain refine;
32 To pain new pangs impart.
33 O! haste to shed the sovereign balm,
34 My shatter'd nerves new-string:
35 And for my guest, serenely calm,
36 The nymph Indifference bring!
37 At her approach, see Hope, see Fear,
38 See Expectation fly!
39 And Disappointment in the rear,
40 That blasts the purpos'd joy.
41 The tears, which Pity taught to flow,
42 My eyes shall then disown;
43 The heart, that throbb'd at others woe,
44 Shall then scarce feel its own.
45 The wounds which now each moment bleed,
46 Each moment then shall close;
47 And tranquil days shall still succeed
48 To nights of sweet repose.
49 O fairy-elf! but grant me this,
50 This one kind comfort send!
51 And so may never-fading bliss
52 Thy flowery paths attend!
53 So may the glow-worm's glimmering light,
54 Thy tiny footsteps lead
55 To some new region of delight,
56 Unknown to mortal tread!
57 And by thy acorn goblet fill'd
58 With heaven's ambrosial dew,
59 From sweetest, freshest flowers distill'd,
60 That shed fresh sweets for you!
61 And what of life remains for me,
62 I'll pass in sober ease;
63 Half-pleas'd, contented will I be,
64 Content — but half to please.