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John Wolcot (Джон Вулкотт)

In Imitation of Spenser, Written at Santa Cruz

Behold in those lorn shades a Damsel dwell—
I ween the fairest amongst all the fair—
Awhile doth VIRTUE bid her sky farewel,
To live with Sylvia, passing all compare.
Eke Innocence doth leave her bower above,
To join her gentle sister of the grove.

Yet what availeth, beauteous maid thy mien,
To mortals driven from thy dark retreat?
Ah! what thy sparkling eyn of peerless sheen,
Sith lovers are forbidden from thy seat?
Soothly! of little value is the rose,
Whose bell unseen in dreary desert blows.

Soothly! the balms of Araby the blest,
Are nought, if unenjoy'd their fragrance stream!
What is fair Luna in her silv'ry vest,
If ne'er she showeth to the world her beam?
Then break like Luna from her cloud of night,
And glad us lovely virgin with thy light.

For thee, the Poet heaveth sighs how deep!
Yet, yet unheard they mingle with the wind—
Ah! virgin well my artless lays may weep,
Sith Spenser hapless plain'd for Rosalind.
Spenser, whose sweet song far surpasseth mine,
As Rosalinda's beauties yield to thine.

Yet, trust me Fair One, I will verse indite,
And THOU the subject soft, to bring me praise:
Tho' LOVE be cruel, yet for laud I'll write,
And IMMORTALITY MUST crown my lays;
For sith thy charms, so much delighten FAME,
She'll suffer naught to die that holds thy name.

John Wolcot's other poems:
  1. Karn-brae, a Druid Ode
  2. Alexander's Feast
  3. Lines intended to be subjoined to Dryden's Ode on Alexander's Feast
  4. Pastoral Ballad
  5. Julia; or, the Victim of Love

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