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Samuel Johnson (Сэмюэл Джонсон)


Written at the Request of a Gentleman to Whom a Lady Had Given a Sprig of Myrtle


What hopes - what terrors does this gift create?
Ambiguous emblem of uncertain fate.
The myrtle (ensign of supreme command
Consign'd to Venus by Melissa's hand),
Not less capricious than a reigning fair,
Oft favours, oft rejects a lover's prayer.
In myrtle shades despairing ghosts complain:
The myrtle crowns the happy lover's heads,
The unhappy lovers' graves the myrtle spreads.
Oh! then the meaning of thy gift impart,
And ease the throbbings of an anxious heart:
Soon must this sprig, as you shall fix its doom,
Adorn Philander's head, or grace his tomb.



Samuel Johnson's other poems:
  1. To Myrtilis - The New Year's Offering
  2. To Miss --
  3. From the Medea of Euripides
  4. Parody of a Translation from the Medea of Euripides
  5. On the Death of Stephen Grey, F.R.S.


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