Thomas Love Peacock ( )

Farewell to Matilda

              Oui, pour jamais
              Chassons limage
              De la volage
              Que jadorais.              PARNY.

Matilda, farewell! Fate has doomd us to part,
But the prospect occasions no pang to my heart;
No longer is love with my reason at strife,
Though once thou wert dearer, far dearer than life.
As together we roamd, I the passion confessd,
Which thy beauty and virtue had raisd in my breast;
That the passion was mutual thou madst me believe,
And I thought my Matilda could never deceive.
My Matilda! no, false one! my claims I resign:
Thou canst not, thou must not, thou shalt not be mine:
I now scorn thee as much as I lovd thee before,
Nor sigh when I think I shall meet thee no more.
Though fair be thy form, thou no lovers wilt find,
While folly and falsehood inhabit thy mind,
Though coxcombs may flatter, though ideots may prize,
Thou art shunnd by the good, and contemnd by the wise.
Than mine what affection more fervent could be,
When I thought evry virtue was centerd in thee?
Of the vows thou hast broken I will not complain,
For I mourn not the loss of a heart I disdain.
Oh! hadst thou but constant and amiable provd
As that fancied perfection I formerly lovd,
Nor absence, nor time, though supreme their controul,
Could have dimmd the dear image then stampd on my soul.
How bright were the pictures, untinted with shade,
By Hopes glowing pencil on Fancy pourtrayd!
Sweet visions of bliss! which I could not retain;
For they, like thyself, were deceitful and vain.
Some other, perhaps, to Matilda is dear,
Some other, more pleasing, though not more sincere;
May he fix thy light passions, now wavring as air,
Then leave thee, inconstant, to shame and despair!
Repent not, Matilda, return not to me:
Unavailing thy grief, thy repentance will be:
In vain will thy vows or thy smiles be resumd,
For love, once extinguishd, is never relumd.

Thomas Love Peacock's other poems:
  1. The Lady, the Knight, and the Friar
  2. Rich & Poor; or Saint & Sinner
  3. Lines on the Death of Julia
  4. To a Young Lady, Netting
  5. The Sundial

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