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N thefe deep folitudes and awful cells,
When heav'nly-penfive contemplation dwells,
And ever-mufing melancholy reigns;
What means this tumult in a Veftal's veins ?
Why rove my thoughts beyond this laft retreat?
Why feels my heart its long-forgotten heat?
Yet, yet I love! From Abelard it came,
And Eloïfa yet muft kiss the name.
Dear fatal name! reft ever unreveal'd,
Nor pafs thefe lips in holy filence feal'd;
Hide it, my heart, within that close disguise,
Where mix'd with God's, his lov'd Idea lies:
O write it not my hand the name appears
Already written wafh it out, my tears!
In vain loft Eloïfa weeps and prays,
Her heart ftill dictates, and her hand obeys.
Relentless walls! whofe darkfome round contains
Repentant fighs; and voluntary pains:
Ye rugged rocks! which holy knees have worn;
Ye grots and caverns fhagg'd with horrid thorn! 20
Shrines! where their vigils pale-ey'd virgins keep,
And pitying faints, whofe ftatues learn to weep!
Tho' cold like you, unmov'd and filent grown,
I have not yet forgot myself to tone.
All is not leav'n's while Abelard has part,
Still rebel nature holds out half my heart;
Nor pray'rs nor fafts its ftubborn pulse restrain,
Nor tears for ages taught to flow in vain.
Soon as thy letters trembling I unclose,
That well-known name awakens all my woes.
Oh name for ever fad! for ever dear!
Still breath'd in fighs, ftill ufher'd with a tear.
I tremble too, where'er my own I find,
Some dire misfortune follows clofe behind.
Line after line my gufhing eyes o'erflow,
Led thro' a fad variety of woe:
Now warm in love, now with'ring in my bloom,
Loft in a convent's folitary gloom!
There ftern Religion quench'd th'unwilling flame,
There dy'd the belt of passions, Love and Fame. 40
Yet write, oh write me all, that I may join
Griefs to thy griefs, and echo fighs to thine.
Nor foes nor fortune take this pow'r away;
And is my Abelard lefs kind than they?
Tears ftill are mine, and thofe I need not fpare, 45
Love but demands what elfe were fhed in pray'r;
No happier tafk thefe faded eyes purfue;
To read and weep is all they now can do.
Then fhare thy pain, Ah, more than fhare it,
Heav'n first taught letters for fome wretch's aid,
Some banish'd lover, or fome captive maid;
They live, they speak, they breathe what love infpires, Warm from the foul, and faithful to its fires,
The virgin's wifh without her fears impart,
Excufe the blufh, and pour out all the heart,
Speed the foft intercourfe from foul to foul,
And waft a figh from Indus to the Pole.
Thou know' how guiltless first I met thy flame, When Love approach'd me under Friendship's name; My fancy form'd thee of angelic kind, Some emanation of th' all-beauteous Mind. Thofe fmiling eyes, attemp'ring ev'ry ray, Shone fweetly lambent with celestial day..
Guiltless I gaz'd; heav'n liften'd while you fung; 65
And truths divine came mended from that tongue.
From lips like those what precept fail'd to move
Too foon they taught me 'twas no fin to love:
Back thro' the paths of pleafing fense I ran,
Nor wish'd an Angel whom I lov'd a Man.
Dim and remote the joys of faints I fee;
Nor envy them that heav'n I lofe for thee.
How oft, when prefs'd to marriage, have I said,
Curfe on all laws but those which love has made!
Love, free as air, at fight of human ties,
Spreads his light wings, and in a moment flies.
Let wealth, let honour, wait the wedded dame,
VER. 66. And truths divine, etc.) He was her Preceptor in Philofophy and Divinity.
Love will not be confin'd by Maifterie:
When Maifterie comes the Lord of Love anon
Fluers his wings and forthwith is he gone.
Auguft her deed, and facred be her fame;
Before true paffion all thofe views remove,
Fame, wealth, and honour! what are you to Love?
The jealous God, when we profane his fires,
Those restless paffions in revenge inspires,
And bids them make miftaken mortals groan,
Who feek in love for aught but love alone.
Should at my feet the world's great mafter fall,
Himself, his throne, his world, I'd fcorn 'em all:
Not Cæfar's emprefs would I deign to prove;
No, make me miftrefs to the man I love.
If there be yet another name more free,
More fond than mistress, make me that to thee! 90
Oh! happy ftare! when fouls each other draw,
When love is liberty, and nature, law:
All then is full, poffeffing, and poffefs'd,
No craving void left aking in the breaft:
Ev'n thought meets thought, ere from the lips it part,
And each warm wifh fprings mutual from the heart.
This fure is blifs (if blifs on earth there be)
And once the lot of Abelard and me.
Alas how chang'd! what fudden horrors rife! A naked Lover bound and bleeding lies; Where, where was Eloife? her voice, her hand, Her ponyard had oppos'd the dire command. Barbarian, stay! that bloody ftroke restrain; The crime was common, common be the pain. I can no more; by fhame, by rage fupprefs'd, 105 Let tears and burning blufhes fpeak the reft.
Canft thou forget that fad, that folemn day When victims at yon altar's foot we lay? Canit thou forget what tears that moment fell,