Laura To Petrarch Poem by Anne Hunter

Laura To Petrarch

O Friend too dearly lov'd, O name ador'd!
My fancy's idol, and my reason's lord!
In vain a powerful duty bids us part,
Thou still art present to this bleeding heart.
Could the light breeze beyond the mountains bear
The sighs of anguish, and the silent tear;
Could my sad thoughts be present to thy mind,
Where thy idea with my life is twin'd,
E'en thou content, wouldst own I stand the test,
And well deserve the heart I have possess'd.
Dull ling'ring time creeps sad and slowly on,
Health fades, and youth with all its charms are gone:
But love remains unfaded, unimpair'd,
Where hope's enchanting voice was never heard;
Yet restless wishes, ever anxious cares,
All she can feel who loves, and who despairs,

Were fair delights, compar'd to that dark hour,
When doubt shall whisper, ' thou art lov'd no more.'
O let me sink in earth, that pang to save,
And 'scape distraction in the friendly grave!
By the wan lustre of the moon's pale beam,
I weave in fancy's loom the waking dream;
And now, methinks, the debt of nature paid,
This agitated heart at peace is laid,
A frozen clod, by death's cold hand comprest,
Each quiv'ring nerve and throbbing pulse at rest;
I mark the mourning train, I hear the knell,
Which bids the busy world a last farewell:
Then, clad in weeds of woe, I see thee come,
For calumny shall slumber o'er the tomb,
And frowning virtue shall forgive the tear
Which falls on lost affection's sacred bier.
With quick and troubled step I hear thee tread
The dreary chambers of the silent dead;
A gleaming torch directs thy eager eyes
To where thy Laura's clay-cold image lies;
I see thy bosom heave, I hear thy bursting sighs,

The grief thy fancied form before me wears,
Gives comfort to my heart, though steep'd in tears;
And guarded thus within fair honour's line,
Such misery has charms for souls like mine;
Thus to be lov'd, in anguish and despair,
Is bliss beyond the joys a giddy world can share.

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