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Poem by John Stagg

The Happy Couple


Beneath a rev'rend oak, whose spreading boughs
     Hung o'er the plain and form'd a pleasing shade,
Two lovers lay exchanging mutual vows; Ч
     The young PHILANDER and his long-lov'd maid.

Not less in love than Eden's loving pair,
     With fond embraces each encircling each;
Strangers to discontent, no pain or care,
     Save what fond love creates, their breasts could reach.

O DELIA, thus began th' enraptur'd swain,
     When first I view'd thy charms devoid of art,
Impetuous transport rush'd thro' every vein,
     And instant love subdu'd my youthful heart.

My bosom then conceiv'd a flame, th' effect
     Of outward loveliness beyond compare;
But 'twas thy mind, with lovely beauties deck'd,
     That fed the flame and firmly fix'd it there.

Without thee DELIA, all the world could give,
     Would ne'er restore me to sweet peace of mind,
Of thee possest, contented I could live,
     In humblest state, unenvying all mankind!

O dear PHILANDER, thus the maid return'd,
     When big with love her lab'ring breast had sigh'd,
Long has my heart with warmest passion burn'd,
     For thee, my swain, of Eden's banks the pride!

At ev'ry rural wake, my partial eye
     Still thee preferr'd Ч no other youth could move
The tender look and deep expressive sigh; Ч
     And if, as you declare, sincere you'll prove;

Yon splendid orb majestic queen of night,
     And all the glitt'ring fires that round her burn Ч
Shall cease to spread o'er earth their radiant light,
     When thee forsaking, D ELIA 's love shall turn.

O then, resum'd the youth with hasty joy,
     Why put we off the hour of nuptial bliss,
Till flying years and posting age destroy,
     Our youthful prime, the time to toy and kiss? Ч

Next Sunday morn the priest, dear maid, shall tye
     The marriage knot, and join us two in one,
If thou wilt give thine hand; Ч then DELIA, I
     Shall be the happiest swain these plains have known.

The nymph consented Ч to the church they went,
     And long have liv'd a truly happy pair,
To bless their age, indulgent heav'n has sent
     A num'rous race, as virtuous and as fair.

John Stagg

John Stagg's other poems:
  1. Occasional Reflections
  2. Sonnet on Winter
  3. Tom Pendant
  4. The Sapient Ass
  5. Sonnet on Autumn

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