Henry James Pye

(20 February 1745 – 11 August 1813 / London, England)

Elegy Vi - Poem by Henry James Pye

Now has bright Sol fulfill'd his circling course,
Again to Taurus roll'd his burning car,
Since, cruel Prudence, thy resistless force
Tore me from happiness and Cynthia far.
How did I then, or pensively complain,
Or in the maniac's frantic accents rave!
How often vow to prove resistance vain,
And, spite of prudence, live my Cynthia's slave!
Her much-lov'd form did every thought employ;
My daily wish she was, and nightly dream;
My aking bosom hop'd no dearer joy;
My raptur'd fancy own'd no nobler theme.
No more I wish'd, where Isis' clear waves flow,
To pluck fresh laurels from the muse's shade:
I long'd to climb the Cambrian mountain's brow,
Since Cambria's mountains hid my favorite maid.
In vain from cruel love's tyrannic reign
To friendship and to wisdom I appeal;
For such my sufferings, that the amorous pain
Nor wisdom could assuage, nor friendship heal.
Now three revolving moons had roll'd away,
Still faded sorrow bent my drooping head;
In slothful rest my nobler passions lay,
Each fire extinguish'd, and each virtue dead:
When forced to seek a more laborious field,
And mingle chearful with a social train,
To toil and mirth those woes began to yield,
Which thought and care had combated in vain.
In other scenes I now delight could find,
And, far from Cynthia, found my heart at rest;
Till love at length the dubious strife declin'd,
And reason fix'd her empire in my breast.
Then, as by sacred truth's unflattering light,
I saw the follies of my former flame,
I turn'd indignant from the hateful sight,
Struck with remorse, and mortified with shame.
I found imagination's magic wand
Had all my Cynthia's dazzling charms supplied,
And love, misjudging love, with partial hand,
Had given those beauties nature's touch denied.
A visionary shape my Fancy drew,
In the fair form each polish'd grace display'd;
Then like the fabled artist amorous grew,
And lov'd the image which itself had made.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 27, 2010

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