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Samuel Johnson (Сэмюэл Джонсон)

Written At The Request Of A Gentleman To Whom A Lady Had Given A Sprig Of Myrtle

What hopes - what terrors does this gift create?
Ambiguous emblem of uncertain fate.
The myrtle (ensign of supreme command
Consign'd to Venus by Melissa's hand),
Not less capricious than a reigning fair,
Oft favours, oft rejects a lover's prayer.
In myrtle shades despairing ghosts complain:
The myrtle crowns the happy lover's heads,
The unhappy lovers' graves the myrtle spreads.
Oh! then the meaning of thy gift impart,
And ease the throbbings of an anxious heart:
Soon must this sprig, as you shall fix its doom,
Adorn Philander's head, or grace his tomb.

Samuel Johnson's other poems:
  1. To Mrs. Thrale On Her Completing Her Thirty-Fifth Year
  2. On The Death Of Stephen Grey, F.R.S.
  3. On Hearing Miss Thrale Consulting with a Friend About a Gown and Hat
  4. Parody of a Translation from the Medea of Euripides
  5. Drury-Lane Prologue Spoken By Mr. Garrick

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