George Pope Morris


After the Manner of the Olden Time.

O Love! the mischief thou hast done!
 Thou god of pleasure and of pain!—
None can escape thee—yes there's one—
 All others find the effort vain:
Thou cause of all my smiles and tears!
Thou blight and bloom of all my years!

Love bathes him in the morning dews,
 Reclines him in the lily bells,
Reposes in the rainbow hues,
 And sparkles in the crystal wells,
Or hies him to the coral-caves,
Where sea-nymphs sport beneath the waves.

Love vibrates in the wind-harp's tune—
 With fays and oreads lingers he—
Gleams in th' ring of the watery moon,
 Or treads the pebbles of the sea.
Love rules "the court, the camp, the grove"—
Oh, everywhere we meet thee, Love!

And everywhere he welcome finds,
 From cottage-door to palace-porch—
Love enters free as spicy winds,
 With purple wings and lighted torch,
With tripping feet and silvery tongue,
And bow and darts behind him slung.

He tinkles in the shepherd's bell
 The village maiden leans to hear—
By lattice high he weaves his spell,
 For lady fair and cavalier:
Like sun-bursts on the mountain snow,
Love's genial warmth melts high and low.

Then why, ye nymphs Arcadian, why—
 Since Love is general as the air—
Why does he not to Lelia fly,
 And soften the obdurate fair?
Scorn nerves her proud, disdainful heart!
She scoffs at Love and all his art!

Oh, boy-god, Love!—An archer thou!—
 Thy utmost skill I fain would test;
One arrow aim at Lelia now,
 And let thy target be her breast!
Her heart bind in thy captive train,
Or give me back my own again!

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