Anna Lætitia Barbauld

Here you will find the Long Poem Songs of poet Anna Lætitia Barbauld


COME here fond youth, whoe'er thou be,
 That boasts to love as well as me ;
And if thy breast have felt so wide a wound,
 Come hither and thy flame approve ;
 I'll teach thee what it is to love,
And by what marks true passion may be found.

 It is to be all bath'd in tears ;
 To live upon a smile for years ;
To lie whole ages at a beauty's feet :

To kneel, to languish and implore ;
 And still tho' she disdain, adore :
It is to do all this, and think thy sufferings sweet.

 It is to gaze upon her eyes
 With eager joy and fond surprise ;
Yet temper'd with such chaste and awful fear
 As wretches feel who wait their doom ;
 Nor must one ruder thought presume
Tho' but in whispers breath'd, to meet her ear.

 It is to hope, tho' hope were loft ;
 Tho' heaven and earth thy passion crost ;
Tho' she were bright as sainted queens above,
 And thou the least and meanest swain
 That folds his flock upon the plain,
Yet if thou dar'st not hope, thou dost not love.

It is to quench thy joy in tears :
 To nurse strange doubts and groundless fears :
If pangs of jealousy thou hast not prov'd,
 Tho' she were fonder and more true
 Than any nymph old poets drew,
Oh never dream again that thou hast lov'd.

 If when the darling maid is gone,
 Thou dost not seek to be alone,
Wrapt in a pleasing trance of tender woe ;
 And muse, and fold thy languid arms,
 Feeding thy fancy on her charms,
Thou dost not love, for love is nourish'd so.

 If any hopes thy bosom share
 But those which love has planted there,
Or any cares but his thy breast enthrall,

Thou never yet his power hast known ;
 Love sits on a despotic throne,
And reigns a tyrant, if he reigns at all.

 Now if thou art so lost a thing,
 Here all thy tender sorrows bring,
And prove whose patience longest can endure :
 We'll strive whose fancy shall be lost
 In dreams of fondest passion most ;
For if thou thus hast lov'd, oh ! never hope a cure.

 S O N G II. 

IF ever thou dist joy to bind
Two hearts in equal passion join'd,

O son of VENUS ! hear me now,
And bid FLORELLA bless my vow.

If any bliss reserv'd for me
Thou in the leaves of fate should'st see ;
If any white propitious hour,
Pregnant with hoarded joys in store ;

Now, now the mighty treasure give,
In her for whom alone I live :
In sterling love pay all the sum,
And I'll absolve the fates to come.

In all the pride of full-blown charms
Yield her, relenting, to my arms:
Her bosom touch with soft desires,
And let her feel what she inspires.

But, CUPID, if thine aid be vain
The dear reluctant maid to gain ;
If still with cold averted eyes
She dash my hopes, and scorn my sighs ;

O ! grant ('tis all I ask of thee)
That I no more may change than she ;
But still with duteous zeal love on,
When every gleam of hope is gone.

Leave me then alone to languish,
Think not time can heal my anguish ;
Pity the woes which I endure ;
But never, never grant a cure.

 S O N G III. 

SYLVIA. LEAVE me, simple shepherd, leave me ;
 Drag no more a hopeless chain :
 I cannot like, nor would deceive thee ;
 Love the maid that loves again.

CORIN. Tho' more gentle nymphs surround me,
 Kindly pitying what I feel,
 Only you have power to wound me ;
 SYLVIA, only you can heal.

SYLVIA. CORIN, cease this idle teazing ;
 Love that's forc'd is harsh and sour :
 If the lover be displeasing,
 To persist disgusts the more.

CORIN. 'Tis in vain, in vain to fly me,
 SYLVIA, I will still pursue ;
 Twenty thousand times deny me,
 I will kneel and weep anew.

SYLVIA. CUPID ne'er shall make me languish,
 I was born averse to love ;
 Lovers' sighs, and tears, and anguish,
 Mirth and pastime to me prove.

CORIN. Still I vow with patient duty
 Thus to meet your proudest scorn ;
 You for unrelenting beauty,
 I for constant love was born.

But the fates had not consented,
 Since they both did fickle prove ;
Of her scorn the maid repented,
 And the shepherd of his love.

 S O N G IV. 

WHEN gentle CELIA first I knew,
A breast so good, so kind, so true,
 Reason and taste approv'd ;
Pleas'd to indulge so pure a flame,
I call'd it by too soft a name,
 And fondly thought I lov'd.

Till CHLORIS came, with sad surprise
I felt the light'ning of her eyes
 Thro' all my senses run ;
All glowing with resistless charms,
She fill'd my breast with new alarms,
 I saw, and was undone.

O CELIA ! dear unhappy maid,
Forbear the weakness to upbraid
 Which ought your scorn to move ;
I know this beauty false and vain,
I know she triumphs in my pain,
 Yet still I feel I love.

Thy gentle smiles no more can please,
Nor ca