chapter  73
To Damon. To inquire of him if he cou’d tell me by the Style, who writ me a Copy of Verses that came to me in an unknown Hand.
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Oh, Damon, if thou ever wers’t That certain friend thou hast profest, Relieve the Pantings of my heart, Restore me to my wonted rest. 5 Late in the Silvian Grove I sat, Free as the Air, and calm as that; For as no winds the boughs opprest, No storms of Love were in my breast. A long Adieu I’d bid to that 10 Ere since Amintas prov’d ingrate. And with indifference, or disdain, I lookt around upon the Plain. And worth my favor found no sighing Swain: But oh, my Damon, all in vain 15 I triumph’d in security, In vain absented from the Plain. The wanton God his Power to try In lone recesses makes us yeild, As well as in the open feild; 20 For where no human thing was found My heedless heart receiv’d a wound. Assist me, Shepherd, or I dye, Help to unfold this Mystery. No Swain was by, no flattering Nymph was neer, 25 Soft tales of Love to whisper to my Ear. In sleep, no Dream my fancy fir’d 270With Images, my waking wish desir’d. No fond Idea fill’d my mind; Nor to the faithless sex one thought inclin’d; 30 I sigh’d for no deceiving youth, Who forfeited his vows and truth; I waited no Assigning Swain Whose disappointment gave me pain. My fancy did no prospect take 35 Of Conquest’s I design’d to make. No snares for Lovers I had laid, Nor was of any snare afraid. But calm and innocent I sate, Content with my indifferent fate. 40 (A Medium, I confess, I hate.) For when the mind so cool is grown As neither Love nor Hate to own, The Life but dully lingers on. Thus in the mid’st of careless thought, 45 A paper to my hand was brought. What hidden charms were lodg’d within, To my unwary Eyes unseen, Alas! no Human thought can guess; But oh! it robb’d me of my peace. 50 A Philter ‘twas, that darted pain Thro every pleas’d and trembling vein. A stratagem, to send a Dart By a new way into the heart, Th’ Ignoble Policie of Love 55 By a clandestin means to move. Which possibly the Instrument Did ne’re design to that intent, But only form, and complement. While Love did the occasion take 60 And hid beneath his flowres a snake O’re every line did Poyson fling In every word he lurk’t a sting. So Matrons are, by Demons charms, Thô harmless, capable of harms. 65 The verse was smooth, the thought was fine, The fancy new, the wit divine. 271But fill’d with praises of my face and Eyes, My verse, and all those usual flatteries To me as common as the Air; 70 Nor cou’d my vanity procure my care. All which as things of course are writ And less to shew esteem than wit. But here was some strange somthing more Than ever flatter’d me before; 75 My heart was by my Eyes misled: I blusht and trembl’d as I read. And every guilty look confest I was with new surprise opprest, From every view I felt a pain 80 And by the Soul, I drew the Swain. Charming as fancy cou’d create Fine as his Poem, and as soft as that. I drew him all the heart cou’d move I drew him all that women Love. 85 And such a dear Idea made As has my whole repose betray’d. Pigmalion thus his Image form’d, And for the charms he made, he sigh’d and burn’d. Oh thou that know’st each Shepherds Strains 90 That Pipes and Sings upon the Plains; Inform me where the youth remains. The spightful Paper bare no name. Nor can I guess from whom it came, Or if at least a guess I found, 95 ‘Twas not t’instruct but to confound.