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Poem by Mary Wortley Montagu


A Ballad


To that dear nymph, whose pow'rful name
Does every throbbing nerve inflame
(As the soft sound I low repeat,
My pulse unequal measures beat),
Whose eyes I never more shall see,
That once so sweetly shin'd on thee;
Go, gentle wind! and kindly bear
My tender wishes to the fair.
Hoh, ho, ho, &c.

Amidst her pleasures let her know
The secret anguish of my woe,
The midnight pang, the jealous hell,
Does in this tortur'd bosom dwell:
While laughing she, and full of play,
Is with her young companions gay;
Or hearing in some fragrant bower
Her lover's sigh, and beauty's power.
Hoh, ho, ho, &c.

Lost and forgotten may I be!
Oh may no pitying thought of me
Disturb the joy that she may find,
When love is crown'd and fortune kind:
May that bless'd swain (whom yet I hate)
Be proud of his distinguish'd fate:
Each happy night be like the first;
And he be bless'd as I am curs'd.
Hoh, ho, ho, &c.

While in these pathless woods I stray,
And lose my solitary way;
Talk to the stars, to trees complain,
And tell the senseless words my pain:
But madness spares the sacred name,
Nor dares the hidden wound proclaim;
Which, secret rankling, sure and slow,
Shall close in endless peace my woe.
Hoh, ho, ho, &c.

When this fond heart shall ache no more,
And all the ills of life are o'er
(If gods by lovers' prayers are mov'd,
As ev'ry god in heaven has lov'd);
Instead of bright Elysian joys,
That unknown something in the skies,
In recompense of all my pain,
The only heaven I'd obtain,
May I, the guardian of her charms,
Preserve that paradise from harms.
Hoh, ho, ho, &c.



Mary Wortley Montagu


Mary Wortley Montagu's other poems:
  1. Town Eclogues: Monday; Roxana, or the Drawing-Room
  2. Epilogue to Mary Queen of Scots
  3. To a Friend on His Travels
  4. Town Eclogues: Tuesday; St. James's Coffee-House
  5. The Lover


Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • John Gay A Ballad ("'Twas when the seas were roaring")
  • Charles Lamb A Ballad ("In a costly palace Youth goes clad in gold")
  • Alexander Brome A Ballad ("OLd England is now a brave Barbary made")
  • Henry White A Ballad ("Be hush'd, be hush'd, ye bitter winds")
  • Menella Smedley A Ballad ("O, were you at war in the red Eastern land?")

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