Henry James Pye

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

Elegy Vii - Poem by Henry James Pye

Now has bright Sol fulfilled his circling course,
Again to Taurus rolled his burning car,
Since, cruel Prudence, thy resistlefs 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-loved form did ev'ry thought employ;
My daily wish she was, and nightly dream;
My aking bosom hoped no dearer joy;
My raptur'd fancy owned no nobler theme.
No more I wish'd, where Isis' clear waves flow,
To pluck fresh laurels from the muse's shade:
I longed 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 asswage, nor friendship heal.
Now three revolving moons had rolled away:
Still faded sorrow bent my drooping head;
In slothful rest my nobler passions lay,
Each fire extinguished, 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 reft;
Till love at length the dubious strife declined.
And reason fixed her empire in my breast.
Then, as by sacred truth's unflattering light,
I saw the follies of my former flame,
I turned 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 polished grace displayed;
Then like the fabled artist amorous grew,
And loved the image which itself had made.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 27, 2010

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