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1 Celia and I the other Day
2 Walk'd o'er the Sand-Hills to the Sea:
3 The setting Sun adorn'd the Coast,
4 His Beams entire, his Fierceness lost:
5 And, on the Surface of the Deep,
6 The Winds lay only not asleep:
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7 The Nymph did like the Scene appear,
8 Serenely pleasant, calmly fair:
9 Soft fell her words, as flew the Air.
10 With secret Joy I heard Her say,
11 That She would never miss one Day
12 A Walk so fine, a Sight so gay.
13 But, oh the Change! the Winds grow high:
14 Impending Tempests charge the Sky:
15 The Lightning flies: the Thunder roars:
16 And big Waves lash the frighten'd Shoars.
17 Struck with the Horror of the Sight,
18 She turns her Head, and wings her Flight;
19 And trembling vows, She'll ne'er again
20 Approach the Shoar, or view the Main.
21 Once more at least look back, said I;
22 Thy self in That large Glass descry:
23 When Thou art in good Humour drest;
24 When gentle Reason rules thy Breast;
25 The Sun upon the calmest Sea
26 Appears not half so bright as Thee:
27 'Tis then, that with Delight I rove
28 Upon the boundless Depth of Love:
29 I bless my Chain: I hand my Oar;
30 Nor think on all I left on Shoar.
31 But when vain Doubt, and groundless Fear
32 Do That Dear Foolish Bosom tear;
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33 When the big Lip, and wat'ry Eye
34 Tell Me, the rising Storm is nigh:
35 'Tis then, Thou art yon' angry Main,
36 Deform'd by Winds, and dash'd by Rain;
37 And the poor Sailor that must try
38 Its Fury, labours less than I.
39 Shipwreck'd, in vain to Land I make;
40 While Love and Fate still drive Me back:
41 Forc'd to doat on Thee thy own Way,
42 I chide Thee first, and then obey:
43 Wretched when from Thee, vex'd when nigh,
44 I with Thee, or without Thee, die.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): THE LADY's LOOKING-GLASS.
Author: Matthew Prior
Genres: narrative verse

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Source edition

Poems on Several Occasions [English poems only]. London: Printed for JACOB TONSON at Shakespear's-Head over against Katharine-Street in the Strand, and JOHN BARBER upon Lambeth-Hill. MDCCXVIII., 1718, pp. 29-31. [42],506,[6]p.: ill.; 2°. (ESTC T075639)

Editorial principles

The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.

Other works by Matthew Prior