Mark Akenside

(1721-1770 / England)

The Complaint


AWAY! away!
Tempt me no more, insidious Love:
Thy soothing sway
Long did my youthful bosom prove:
At length thy treason is discern'd,
At length some dear-bought caution earn'd:
Away! nor hope my riper age to move.

I know, I see
Her merit. Needs it now be shown,
Alas! to me?
How often, to myself unknown,
The graceful, gentle, virtuous maid
Have I admired! How often said--
What joy to call a heart like hers one's own!

But, flattering god,
O squanderer of content and ease
In thy abode
Will care's rude lesson learn to please?
O say, deceiver, hast thou won
Proud Fortune to attend thy throne,
Or placed thy friends above her stern decrees?

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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