Samuel Taylor Coleridge


Medio de fonte leporum Surgit amari aliquid.

Julia was blest with beauty, wit, and grace:
Small poets lov’d to sing her blooming face.
Before her altars, lo! a numerous train
Preferr’d their vows; yet all preferr’d in vain,

Till charming Florio, born to conquer, came
And touch’d the fair one with an equal flame.
The flame she felt, and ill could she conceal
What every look and action would reveal.
With boldness then, which seldom fails to move,
He pleads the cause of Marriage and of Love:
The course of Hymeneal joys he rounds,
The fair one’s eyes danc’d pleasure at the sounds.
Nought now remain’d but ‘‘Noes’’ — how little meant!
And the sweet coyness that endears consent.
The youth upon his knees enraptur’d fell:
The strange misfortune, oh! what words can tell?
Tell! ye neglected sylphs! who lap-dogs guard,
Why snatch’d ye not away your precious ward?
Why suffer’d ye the lover’s weight to fall
On the ill-fated neck of much-lov’d Ball?
The favourite on his mistress casts his eyes,
Gives a short melancholy howl, and — dies.
Sacred his ashes lie, and long his rest!
Anger and grief divide poor Julia’s breast.
Her eyes she fixt on guilty Florio first:
On him the storm of angry grief must burst.
That storm he fled: he wooes a kinder fair,
Whose fond affections no dear puppies share.
’Twere vain to tell, how Julia pin’d away:
Unhappy Fair! that in one luckless day —
From future Almanacks the day be crost! —
At once her Lover and her Lap-dog lost.

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