Elegy XII. Book II.

Whate’er the man, who first thy portrait drew,1
Oh, Love ! his hand and eye were true, I deem ;2
And well thy moonstruck worshippers he knew,3
Who live in air, and perish in a dream.4
In happy hours, those fragile plumes he gave5
For truly is the God with wings design’d,6
Whose vot’ries are more restless than the wave,7
The common pastime of the wanton wind.8
With fatal grace that polish’d bow he bears,9
His arrows on a Gnossian quiver lie ;10
But, Parthian-like, they strike us unawares,11
And ere we know our enemy—we die.12
I felt his darts—e’en now I feel their stings,13
Too well my heart the wayward Boy displays ;14
But, oh ! in me the God hath lost his wings,15
And leaden sorrow on my spirit weighs.16
Love, wilt thou ever lacerate my breast ?17
There are thy pow’r who never yet obey’d18
Strike them—and let my wearied bosom rest,19
Nor wage inglorious warfare with a shade.20
Oh ! spare thy Bard—what poet of the quire21
Like him, who cold and silent soon must be,22
Shall sing thy triumphs ? for his trembling Lyre23
Could hardly softer sound, e’en touch’d by thee.24