When dear Clarinda, matchless fair,
First struck Sylvander’s raptur’d view,
He gaz’d, he listened to despair,
Alas! ’twas all he dared to do.
Love, from Clarinda’s heavenly eyes,
Transfixed his bosom thro’ and thro’;
But still in Friendships’ guarded guise,
For more the demon fear’d to do.
That heart, already more than lost,
The imp beleaguer’d all perdue;
For frowning Honour kept his post-
To meet that frown, he shrunk to do.
His pangs the Bard refused to own,
Tho’ half he wish’d Clarinda knew;
But Anguish wrung the unweeting groan-
Who blames what frantic Pain must do?
That heart, where motley follies blend,
Was sternly still to Honour true:
To prove Clarinda’s fondest friend,
Was what a lover sure might do.
The Muse his ready quill employed,
No nearer bliss he could pursue;
That bliss Clarinda cold deny’d-
“Send word by Charles how you do!”
The chill behest disarm’d his muse,
Tillpassion all impatient grew:
He wrote, and hinted for excuse,
‘Twas, ’cause “he’d nothing else to do.”
But by those hopes I have above!
And bythose faults I dearly rue!
The deed, the boldest markof love,
For thee that deed I dare uo do!
O could the Fates butname the price
Would bless me with your charms and you!
With frantic joy I’d pay it thrice,
If human art and power could do!
Then take, Clarinda, friendship’s hand,
(Friendship, at least, I may avow;)
And lay nomore your chill command, –
I’ll write whatever I’ve to do.