1 WHILE calm you sit beneath your secret shade,
2 And lose in pleasing thought the summer-day,
3 Or tempt the wish of some unpractis'd maid,
4 Whose heart at once inclines and fears to stray:
5 The sprightly vigour of my youth is fled,
6 Lonely and sick on Death is all my thought,
7 O spare, Persephonea
a The Goddess of Death., this guiltless head,
8 Love, too much Love, is all thy suppliant's fault.
9 No virgin's easy faith I e'er betray'd,
10 My tongue ne'er boasted of a feign'd embrace,
11 No poisons in the cup have I convey'd,
12 Nor veil'd destruction with a friendly face:
13 No secret horrors gnaw this quiet breast,
14 This pious hand ne'er robb'd the sacred fane,
15 I ne'er disturb'd the Gods eternal rest
16 With curses loud, — but oft have pray'd in vain.
17 No stealth of Time has thinn'd my flowing hair,
18 Nor Age yet bent me with his iron hand;
19 Ah! why so soon the tender blossom tear?
20 E'er Autumn yet the ripen'd fruit demand.
21 Ye Gods, whoe'er, in gloomy shades below,
22 Now slowly tread your melancholy round,
23 Now wandering view the paleful rivers flow,
24 And musing hearken to their solemn sound:
25 O let me still enjoy the chearful day,
26 Till many years unheeded o'er me roll'd,
27 Pleas'd in my age I trifle life away,
28 And tell how much we lov'd, e'er I grew old.
29 But you, who now with festive garlands crown'd
30 In chace of Pleasure the gay moments spend,
31 By quick enjoyment heal Love's pleasing wound,
32 And grieve for nothing but your absent Friend.