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This heart, alas! perverted long,
Itself destroyed might there destroy; To meet thee in the glittering throng, Would wake Presumption's hope of joy.
Then to the things whose bliss or woe,
Like mine, is wild and worthless all, That world resign-such scenes forego,
Where those who feel must surely fall.
Thy youth, thy charms, thy tenderness,
Thy soul from long seclusion pure;
From what even here hath past, may guess What there thy bosom must endure.
Oh! pardon that imploring tear,
My frenzy drew from eyes so dear;
Though long and mournful must it be,
The thought that we no more may meet;
Yet I deserve the stern decree,
And almost deem the sentence sweet.
Still, had I loved thee less, my heart
Had then less sacrificed to thine;
It felt not half so much to part,
As if its guilt had made thee mine.
Lines inscribed upon a Cup formed from a Skull.
START not-nor deem my spirit filed:
In me behold the only skull,
From which, unlike a living head,
Whatever flows is never dull.
I lived, I loved, I quaffed, like thee;
I died; let earth my bones resign: Fill up-thou canst not injure me;
The worm hath fouler lips than thine.
Better to hold the sparkling grape,
Than nurse the earth-worm's slimy brood;
And circle in the goblet's shape
The drink of Gods, than reptile's food.
Where once my wit, perchance, hath shone,
In aid of others' let me shine;
And when, alas! our brains are gone,
What nobler substitute than wine!
Quaff while thou canst-another race,
When thou and thine like me are sped, May rescue thee from earth's embrace,
And rhyme and revel with the dead.
Why not? since through life's little day Our heads such sad effects produce;
Redeemed from worms and wasting clay,
This chance is theirs, to be of use.
Newstead Abbey, 1808.