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Has then, the Paphian Queen at length prevail'd?
Has the sly little Archer, whom my Friend
Once would despise, with all his boyish wiles,
Now taken ample vengeance, made thee feel
His piercing shaft, and taught thy heart profane
With sacred awe, repentant, to confess
The Son of Venus is indeed a God?
I greet his triumph; for he has but claim'd
His own; the breast that was by Nature form'd
And destined for his temple Love has claim'd.
The great, creating Parent, when she breathed
Into thine earthly frame the breath of life,
Indulgently conferr'd on thee a soul
Of finer essence, capable to trace,
To feel, admire, and love, the fair, the good,
Wherever found, through all her various works.
And is not Woman, then, her fairest work,
Fairest, and oft her best? endowed with gifts
Potent to captivate, and softly rule
The hearts of all men? chiefly such as thou,
By partial Nature favour'd from the birth?
Why wast thou, then, reluctant to confess
The sovereignty of Love? so strangely deaf
Through half thy genial season to the voice
Of Nature, kindly calling thee to taste
Felicity congenial to thy soul?
This was the secret cause: inscrutable
To vulgar minds, who fancied thee foredoom'd
To celibacy, for thyself alone
Existing; but I rightlier judged my Friend
The cause was this: there lurk'd within thy breast
A visionary flame; for, while retired
In solitude, on classic lore intent,
Thy fancy, to console thee for the loss
Of female intercourse, conceived a Maid,
With each soft charm, each moral grace, adorn'd,
Fit Empress of thy soul; and oft would Hope
Gaze on the lovely phantom, till at length
She dared to stand on disappointment's verge,
Anticipating such thy future bride.
What wonder, then, that Chloe's golden locks
Should weave no snare for thee? that Delia's eyes,
So darkly bright, should innocently glance,
Nor dart their lightnings through thy kindling frame?
That many a Fair should unregarded pass,
So far unlike the picture in thy mind?
At last, in happy hour, my Friend beheld
Partial, a Maid of mild, engaging mien,
Of artless manners, affable, and gay,
Yet modestly reserved, with native taste
Endued, with genuine feeling, with a heart
Expansive, generous, and a mind well-taught,
Well-principled in things of prime concern.
Still, as, with anxious doubt, thou didst pursue
The delicate research, new virtues dawn'd
Upon thy ravish'd view: 'twas She! 'twas She!
Then marvelling Fancy saw her image live;
And Hope her dream fulfill'd; then triumph'd Love;
And Nature was obeyed.
Yet still suspense
Reign'd awful in thy breast, for who could stand
Between the realms of happiness and pain,
Waiting his sentence fearless? O my Friend!
What was thy transport, when the gracious Maid
With virgin blushes and approving smile
Received thy vows, consented to be thine?
Now, then, let Friendship gratulate thy lot,
Supremely blest! and let her fondly hope
That, while the names of Husband, Father, thrill
Thy soul with livelier joy, thou wilt, at times,
Remember still, well pleased, the name of Friend.
Submitted on August 03, 2020
- 2:38 min read
- 5 Views
|Scheme||ABXXCDXEXE XXFXXXXXXXXDXXGFXAXBXXXXHXIXXXXXXXXXAXXGXXXXXXXXH XXCBHXX XIXXB|
|Closest metre||Iambic pentameter|
|Stanza Lengths||10, 49, 7, 5|
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Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:
"Epistle To A Friend" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 4 Feb. 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/56795/epistle-to-a-friend>.