A Marriage Ring

THE ring, so worn as you behold,
So thin, so pale, is yet of gold:
The passion such it was to prove--
Worn with life's care, love yet was love.

by George Crabbe.

As Daphne did from tuneful Phoebus fly,
Still must his Sons expect an equal Fate!
For cruel Beauty doom'd in vain to sigh,
And find their Tenderness repaid with Hate.

by Samuel Boyse.

Love Between Brothers And Sisters

Whatever brawls disturb the street,
There should be peace at home;
Where sisters dwell and brothers meet,
Quarrels should never come.
Birds in their little nests agree;
And 'tis a shameful sight,
When children of one family
Fall out and chide and fight.

by Isaac Watts.

The Wine of Love

THE wine of Love is music,
   And the feast of Love is song:
And when Love sits down to the banquet,
   Love sits long:

Sits long and arises drunken,
   But not with the feast and the wine;
He reeleth with his own heart,
   That great, rich Vine.

by James Thomson.

Love’s Auction

Could pretty Jane be put to sale,
I'd have no auctioneer in vogue;
Not Christie should her charms detail,
But Truth should dress the catalogue.
Within the leaves no falsehood slid;
No grace hitch'd in which Jane hath not.
Then all the world would come and bid;
But only Love should buy the lot.

by John Kenyon.

Song Intended To Have Been Sung In 'she Stoops To Conquer'

AH me! when shall I marry me?
Lovers are plenty; but fail to relieve me:
He, fond youth, that could carry me,
Offers to love, but means to deceive me.

But I will rally, and combat the ruiner:
Not a look, not a smile shall my passion discover:
She that gives all to the false one pursuing her,
Makes but a penitent, loses a lover.

by Oliver Goldsmith.

Father Of Love, To Thee I Bend

Father of love, to thee I bend
My heart, and lift mine eyes;
O let my pray'r and praise ascend
As odours to the skies.

Thy pard'ning voice I come to hear,
To know thee as thou art:
Thy ministers can reach the ear,
But thou must touch the heart.

O stamp me in thy heav'nly mould,
And grant thy word appl'd
May bring forth fruit an hundred fold
And speak me justify'd.

by Augustus Montague Toplady.

On A Lady Throwing Snow-Balls At Her Lover

[From the Latin of Petronious Ascanius.]

When, wanton fair, the snowy orb you throw,
I feel a fire before unknown in snow.
E'en coldest snow I find has pow'r to warm
My breast, when flung by Julia's lovely arm.
T'elude love's pow'rful arts I strive in vain,
If ice and snow can latent fires contain.
These frolics leave: the force of beauty prove,
With equal passion cool my ardent love.

by Christopher Smart.

To The God Of Fond Desire

One day the God of fond desire,
On mischief bent, to Damon said,
'Why not disclose your tender fire,
Now own it to the lovely maid?'

The shepherd marked his treacherous art,
And, softly sighing, thus replied:
''Tis true you have subdued my heart,
But shall not triumph o'er my pride.

'The slave, in private only bears
Your bondage, who his love conceals
But when his passion he declares,
You drag him at your chariot-wheels.'

by James Thomson.

Song. To A Russian Air

WAS it for this I dearly loved thee?....
But since at length I know thy heart,
And learn no real passion moved thee,
Go, Henry, go; this hour we part.

But do not think, past love forgetting,
That I thy foe can ever be;
My blighted hopes howe'er regretting,
I still shall pray for bliss to thee.
I still, no wrongs from thee resenting,
Shall wish Love's choicest treasures thine;
Though till life's closing sigh lamenting
The power to bless thee was not mine .

by Amelia Opie.

Fair Iris I Love And Hourly I Die

Fair Iris I love and hourly I die,
But not for a lip nor a languishing eye:
She's fickle and false, and there I agree;
For I am as false and as fickle as she:
We neither believe what either can say;
And, neither believing, we neither betray.

'Tis civil to swear and say things, of course;
We mean not the taking for better or worse.
When present we love, when absent agree;
I think not of Iris, nor Iris of me:
The legend of love no couple can find
So easy to part, or so equally join'd.

by John Dryden.

I lost the love of heaven above,
I spurned the lust of earth below,
I felt the sweets of fancied love
And hell itself my only foe.

I lost earth's joys but felt the glow
Of heaven's flame abound in me
Till loveliness and I did grow
The bard of immortality.

I loved but woman fell away
I hid me from her faded fame,
I snatched the sun's eternal ray
And wrote till earth was but a name

In every language upon earth,
On every shore, o'er every sea,
I give my name immortal birth
And kept my spirit with the free.

by John Clare.

Acis And Galatea

Air.
Love in her eyes sits playing,
And sheds delicious death;
Love on her lips is straying,
And warbling in her breath;
Love on her breast sits panting,
And swells with soft desire;
Nor grace nor charm is wanting
To set the heart on fire.

Air.
O ruddier than the cherry!
O sweeter than the berry!
O Nymph more bright
Than moonshine night,
Like kidlings blithe and merry!

Ripe as the melting cluster!
No lily has such lustre;
Yet hard to tame
As raging flame,
And fierce as storms that bluster.

by John Gay.

On The Reverend Mr. Love, In The Cathedral At Bristol

When worthless grandeur fills th' embellish'd urn,
No poignant grief attends the sable bier;
But when distinguish'd excellence we mourn,
Deep is the sorrow, genuine is the tear.
Stranger! should'st thou approach this awful shrine,
The merits of the honour'd dead to seek;
The friend, the son, the Christian, the divine,
Let those who knew him, those who lov'd him, speak.

O let him in some pause of anguish say,
What zeal inflam'd, what faith enlarg'd his breast;
How glad th' unfetter'd spirit wing'd its way
From earth to heav'n, from blessing to be blest!

by Hannah More.

Gently stir and blow the fire,
Lay the mutton down to roast,
Dress it quickly, I desire,
In the dripping put a toast,
That I hunger may remove --
Mutton is the meat I love.
On the dresser see it lie;
Oh, the charming white and red;
Finer meat ne'er met the eye,
On the sweetest grass it fed:
Let the jack go swiftly round,
Let me have it nice and brown'd.
On the table spread the cloth,
Let the knives be sharp and clean,
Pickles get and salad both,
Let them each be fresh and green.
With small beer, good ale and wine,
Oh ye gods! how I shall dine.

by Jonathan Swift.

Tell me, thou soul of her I love,
Ah! tell me, whither art thou fled;
To what delightful world above,
Appointed for the happy dead?

Or dost thou, free, at pleasure, roam
And sometimes share thy lover's woe;
Where, void of thee, his cheerless home
Can now, alas! no comfort know?

Oh! if thou hoverest round my walk,
While, under every well-known tree,
I to thy fancied shadow talk,
And every tear is full of thee;

Should then the weary eye of grief,
Beside some sympathetic stream,
In slumber find a short relief,
Visit thou my soothing dream!

by James Thomson.

To Love (Amanda)

Sweet tyrant Love,- but hear me now!
And cure while young this pleasing smart;
Or rather aid my trembling vow,
And teach me to reveal my heart.

Tell her, whose goodness is my bane,
Whose looks have smiled my peace away,
Oh! whisper how she gives me pain,
Whilst undesigning, frank, and gay.

'Tis not for common charms I sigh,
For what the vulgar beauty call;
'Tis not a cheek, a lip, an eye,
But 'tis the soul that lights them all!

For that I drop the tender tear,
For that I make this artless moan;
Oh! sigh it, Love! into her ear,
And make the bashful lover known.

by James Thomson.

Sonnet: As From The Darkening Gloom A Silver Dove

As from the darkening gloom a silver dove
Upsoars, and darts into the eastern light,
On pinions that nought moves but pure delight,
So fled thy soul into the realms above,
Regions of peace and everlasting love;
Where happy spirits, crown'd with circlets bright
Of starry beam, and gloriously bedight,
Taste the high joy none but the blest can prove.
There thou or joinest the immortal quire
In melodies that even heaven fair
Fill with superior bliss, or, at desire,
Of the omnipotent Father, cleav'st the air
On holy message sent -- What pleasure's higher?
Wherefore does any grief our joy impair?

by John Keats.

Song From Marriage-A-La-Mode

Why should a foolish marriage vow,
Which long ago was made,
Oblige us to each other now,
When passion is decayed?
We loved, and we loved, as long as we could,
Till our love was loved out in us both;
But our marriage is dead when the pleasure is fled:
'Twas pleasure first made it an oath.

If I have pleasures for a friend,
And farther love in store,
What wrong has he whose joys did end,
And who could give no more?
'Tis a madness that he should be jealous of me,
Or that I should bar him of another;
For all we can gain is to give ourselves pain,
When neither can hinder the other.

by John Dryden.

Sonnet: Oh! How I Love, On A Fair Summer's Eve

Oh! how I love, on a fair summer's eve,
When streams of light pour down the golden west,
And on the balmy zephyrs tranquil rest
The silver clouds, far -- far away to leave
All meaner thoughts, and take a sweet reprieve
From little cares; to find, with easy quest,
A fragrant wild, with Nature's beauty drest,
And there into delight my soul deceive.
There warm my breast with patriotic lore,
Musing on Milton's fate -- on Sydney's bier --
Till their stern forms before my mind arise:
Perhaps on wing of Poesy upsoar,
Full often dropping a delicious tear,
When some melodious sorrow spells mine eyes.

by John Keats.

Love in Fantastique Triumph satt,
Whilst bleeding Hearts around him flow'd,
For whom Fresh pains he did create,
And strange Tryanic power he show'd;
From thy Bright Eyes he took his fire,
Which round about, in sport he hurl'd;
But 'twas from mine he took desire,
Enough to undo the Amorous World.
From me he took his sighs and tears,
From thee his Pride and Crueltie;
From me his Languishments and Feares,
And every Killing Dart from thee;
Thus thou and I, the God have arm'd,
And sett him up a Deity;
But my poor Heart alone is harm'd,
Whilst thine the Victor is, and free.

by Aphra Behn.

On The Conversion Of A Sister

'Tis the voice of my sister at home,
Resign'd to the treasures above,
Inviting the strangers to come,
And feast at the banquet of love.

'Tis a spirit cut loose from its chain,
'Tis the voice of a culprit forgiven,
Restored from a prison of pain,
With th' sound of a concert from heaven.

'Tis a beam from the regions of light,
A touch of beatific fire;
A spirit exulting for flight,
With a strong and impatient desire.

'Tis a drop from the ocean of love,
A foretaste of pleasures to come,
Distill'd from the fountain above,
The joy which awaits her at home.

by George Moses Horton.

Song From The Spanish Of Iglesias

Alexis calls me cruel;
The rifted crags that hold
The gathered ice of winter,
He says, are not more cold.

When even the very blossoms
Around the fountain's brim,
And forest walks, can witness
The love I bear to him.

I would that I could utter
My feelings without shame;
And tell him how I love him,
Nor wrong my virgin fame.

Alas! to seize the moment
When heart inclines to heart,
And press a suit with passion,
Is not a woman's part.

If man comes not to gather
The roses where they stand,
They fade among their foliage;
They cannot seek his hand.

by William Cullen Bryant.

The Lord of Life shakes off his drowsihed,
And 'gins to sprinkle on the earth below
Those rays that from his shaken locks do flow;
Meantime, by truant love of rambling led,
I turn my back on thy detested walls,
Proud city! and thy sons I leave behind,
A sordid, selfish, money-getting kind;
Brute things, who shut their ears when Freedom calls.
I pass not thee so lightly, well-known spire,
That mindest me of many a pleasure gone,
Of merrier days, of love and Islington;
Kindling afresh the flames of past desire.
And I shall muse on thee slow journeying on
To the green plains of pleasant Hertfordshire.

1795.

by Charles Lamb.

Sonnet Xxiii. By The Same. To The North Star.

TO thy bright beams I turn my swimming eyes,
Fair, favourite planet, which in happier days
Saw my young hopes, ah, faithless hopes!--arise,
And on my passion shed propitious rays.
Now nightly wandering 'mid the tempests drear
That howl the woods and rocky steeps among,
I love to see thy sudden light appear
Through the swift clouds--driven by the wind along:
Or in the turbid water, rude and dark,
O'er whose wild stream the gust of Winter raves,
Thy trembling light with pleasure still I mark,
Gleam in faint radiance on the foaming waves!
So o'er my soul short rays of reason fly,
Then fade:--and leave me to despair and die.

by Charlotte Smith.

Go, distant shores and brighter conquests seek,
But my affection will your scorn survive!
For not from radiant eyes or crimson cheek
My fondness I, or you your power derive;--

Nor sprung the passion from your fancied love;
To me, your smiles no dear delusion caused;
I saw you tower my humble hopes above,
And, ere I loved, I shuddered, trembled, paused.

But I was formed to prize superior worth,
And felt 't was virtue you, with love, to see;
I hoped a choice so glorious might call forth
Merit like yours, Lorenzo, e'en in me.--
Then go, assured that mine's no transient flame,
For on your worth it feeds, and lives upon your fame.

by Amelia Opie.

Song: Let No Shepherd Sing To Me

Let no Shepherd sing to me
The stupid praise of Constancy,
Nature bids her subjects range,
All creation's full of change.
See the varying hours display
Morning, Evening, Night, and Day,
See the circling seasons bring
Summer, Winter, Autumn, Spring.
Shall the river's current full
Idly sleep a stagnate pool,
Shall the pedant's mandate bind
The rapid wave, the fleeting wind.
Thus I sung when Chloe's eyes
Made my vanquish'd heart their prize,
Where's my passion now to range,
Love of Freedom, love of Change.
Still my breast retains it's views,
Still variety pursues,
Happy in one Nymph to find
Every charm of Womankind.

by Henry James Pye.

CHASTE are their instincts, faithful is their fire,
No foreign beauty tempts to false desire;
The snow-white vesture, and the glittering crown,
The simple plumage, or the glossy down
Prompt not their loves:-- the patriot bird pursues
His well acquainted tints, and kindred hues.
Hence through their tribes no mix'd polluted flame,
No monster-breed to mark the groves with shame;
But the chaste blackbird, to its partner true,
Thinks black alone is beauty's favourite hue.
The nightingale, with mutual passion blest,
Sings to its mate, and nightly charms the nest;
While the dark owl to court its partner flies,
And owns its offspring in their yellow eyes.

by Oliver Goldsmith.

Song : 'Love Armed'

Love in fantastic triumph sat,
Whilst bleeding hearts around him flow'd,
For whom fresh pains he did create,
And strange tyrannic power he shew'd;
From thy bright eyes he took his fire,
Which round about in sport he hurl'd;
But 'twas from mine he took desire
Enough to undo the amorous world.

From me he took his sighs and tears,
From thee his pride and cruelty;
From me his languishments and fears,
And every killing dart from thee;
Thus thou and I the God have arm'd,
And set him up a Deity;
But my poor heart alone is harm'd,
Whilst thine the victor is, and free.

by Aphra Behn.

Song From Abdelazar

Love in fantastic triumph sat,
Whilst bleeding hearts around him flow'd,
For whom fresh pains he did create,
And strange tyrannic power he shew'd;
From thy bright eyes he took his fire,
Which round about in sport he hurl'd;
But 'twas from mine he took desire
Enough to undo the amorous world.

From me he took his sighs and tears,
From thee his pride and cruelty;
From me his languishments and fears,
And every killing dart from thee;
Thus thou and I the God have arm'd,
And set him up a Deity;
But my poor heart alone is harm'd,
Whilst thine the victor is, and free.

by Aphra Behn.

Marriage A-La-Mode

Why should a foolish marriage vow,
Which long ago was made,
Oblige us to each other now
When passion is decay'd?
We lov'd, and we lov'd, as long as we could,
Till our love was lov'd out in us both:
But our marriage is dead, when the pleasure is fled:
'Twas pleasure first made it an oath.

If I have pleasures for a friend,
And farther love in store,
What wrong has he whose joys did end,
And who could give no more?
'Tis a madness that he should be jealous of me,
Or that I should bar him of another:
For all we can gain is to give our selves pain,
When neither can hinder the other.

by John Dryden.

Why Should A Foolish Marriage Vow

Why should a foolish marriage vow,
Which long ago was made,
Oblige us to each other now
When passion is decay'd?
We lov'd, and we lov'd, as long as we could,
Till our love was lov'd out in us both:
But our marriage is dead, when the pleasure is fled:
'Twas pleasure first made it an oath.

If I have pleasures for a friend,
And farther love in store,
What wrong has he whose joys did end,
And who could give no more?
'Tis a madness that he should be jealous of me,
Or that I should bar him of another:
For all we can gain is to give our selves pain,
When neither can hinder the other.

by John Dryden.

Farewell Ungrateful Traitor

Farewell ungrateful traitor,
Farewell my perjured swain,
Let never injured creature
Believe a man again.
The pleasure of possessing
Surpasses all expressing,
But 'tis too short a blessing,
And love too long a pain.

'Tis easy to deceive us
In pity of your pain,
But when we love you leave us
To rail at you in vain.
Before we have descried it,
There is no bliss beside it,
But she that once has tried it
Will never love again.

The passion you pretended
Was only to obtain,
But when the charm is ended
The charmer you disdain.
Your love by ours we measure
Till we have lost our treasure,
But dying is a pleasure,
When living is a pain.

by John Dryden.

The ne'er-forgetting! him who loves but once!
Romance may laud, but Cupid dubs for dunce;
And jeers, and mocks him on from pain to pain.
Who but hath sworn him ne'er to love again,
Then forged, himself, new links and chafed at his own chain?

There are who drink, intoxicate to be;
And some because intoxicate already.
E'en like these last, I snatched the cup from thee,
And hurried to my lip with hand unsteady.
A draught it was, from whence fond hopes, at first,
Bead round the heart, and then, like bubbles, burst.

But tho' I knew the treachery of the cup,
Thou wert the Hebe, and I drained it up.
And now, as all repentingly I lie,
Like some slow-sobering quaffer—wonder why.

by John Kenyon.

Love Lives Beyond The Tomb

Love lives beyond
The tomb, the earth, which fades like dew-
I love the fond,
The faithful, and the true.
Love lies in sleep,
The happiness of healthy dreams,
Eve's dews may weep,
But love delightful seems.
'Tis seen in flowers,
And in the even's pearly dew
On earth's green hours,
And in the heaven's eternal blue.

'Tis heard in spring
When light and sunbeams, warm and kind,
On angels wing
Bring love and music to the wind.
And where is voice
So young, so beautiful, so sweet
As nature's choice,
Where spring and lovers meet?
Love lies beyond
The tomb, the earth, the flowers, and dew.
I love the fond,
The faithful, young, and true.

by John Clare.

A Song. Fair, Sweet And Young, Receive A Prize

1.
Fair, sweet, and young, receive a prize
Reserved for your victorious eyes:
From crowds, whom at your feet you see,
O pity, and distinguish me!
As I from thousand beauties more
Distinguish you, and only you adore.

2.
Your face for conquest was design'd,
Your every motion charms my mind;
Angels, when you your silence break,
Forget their hymns, to hear you speak;
But when at once they hear and view,
Are loth to mount, and long to stay with you.

3.
No graces can your form improve,
But all are lost, unless you love;
While that sweet passion you disdain,
Your veil and beauty are in vain:
In pity then prevent my fate,
For after dying all reprieve's too late.

by John Dryden.

A Thousand Martyrs I Have Made

A thousand Martyrs I have made,
All sacrific'd to my desire;
A thousand Beauties have betray'd,
That languish in resistless Fire.
The untam'd Heart to hand I brought,
And fixt the wild and wandring Thought.

I never vow'd nor sigh'd in vain
But both, thô false, were well receiv'd.
The Fair are pleas'd to give us pain,
And what they wish is soon believ'd.
And thô I talked of Wounds and Smart,
Loves Pleasures only toucht my Heart.

Alone the Glory and the Spoil
I always Laughing bore away;
The Triumphs, without Pain or Toil,
Without the Hell, the Heav'n of Joy.
And while I thus at random rove
Despise the Fools that whine for Love.

by Aphra Behn.

Love And Discipline

Since in a land not barren still
(Because Thou dost Thy grace distill)
My lot is fallen, blest be Thy will!

And since these biting frosts but kill
Some tares in me which choke or spill
That seed Thou sow'st, blest be Thy skill!

Blest be Thy dew, and blest Thy frost,
And happy I to be so crossed,
And cured by crosses at Thy cost.

The dew doth cheer what is distressed,
The frosts ill weeds nip and molest;
In both Thou work'st unto the best.

Thus while Thy several mercies plot,
And work on me now cold, now hot,
The work goes on and slacketh not;

For as Thy hand the weather steers,
So thrive I best, 'twixt joys and tears,
And all the year have some green ears.

by Henry Vaughan.

Song From An Evening's Love

After the pangs of a desperate lover,
When day and night I have sighed all in vain,
Ah, what a pleasure it is to discover
In her eyes pity, who causes my pain!

When with unkindness our love at a stand is,
And both have punished ourselves with the pain,
Ah, what a pleasure the touch of her hand is!
Ah, what a pleasure to touch it again!

When the denial comes fainter and fainter,
And her eyes give what her tongue does deny,
Ah, what a trembling I feel when I venture!
Ah, what a trembling does usher my joy!

When, with a sigh, she accords me the blessing,
And her eyes twinkle 'twixt pleasure and pain,
Ah, what a joy 'tis beyond all expressing!
Ah, what a joy to hear 'Shall we again!'

by John Dryden.

Hither, Hither, Love

HITHER hither, love---
'Tis a shady mead---
Hither, hither, love!
Let us feed and feed!

Hither, hither, sweet---
'Tis a cowslip bed---
Hither, hither, sweet!
'Tis with dew bespread!

Hither, hither, dear
By the breath of life,
Hither, hither, dear!---
Be the summer's wife!

Though one moment's pleasure
In one moment flies---
Though the passion's treasure
In one moment dies;---

Yet it has not passed---
Think how near, how near!---
And while it doth last,
Think how dear, how dear!

Hither, hither, hither
Love its boon has sent---
If I die and wither
I shall die content!

by John Keats.