Ephelia

England

To A Gentleman That Durst Not Pass The Door While I Stood There.

SIR,
Passion's force compels me now to write,
And aggravates the wrongs I fain would slight:
They to my Soul in such loud clamors speak,
That Reason to resist them is too weak:
First, Rage or Anger, (call it which you please)
Whispers my Soul, bear such affronts as these?
Can your great Mind be unconcerned, when you
With your own Eyes did such a passage view?
Can you with Patience hear him say, he dare
Not stir from thence while that fond Fool is there?
Oh! where is all your former Greatness gone?
You in this Act the
Stoics
(1) have outdone:
He calls you fond, and kind, but let him see
You can disdain such petty things as he:
Thus Anger counselled me to do,--but when
I strove to obey her Dictates, ah! then
Something like pity in your Cause did plead,
And my faint Anger did in Triumph lead:
Shame pleaded next, and mildly did request,
She might not quite be exiled from my breast,
Which she must be, if I should entertain
But the least Thought of loving you again;
For when first notice of the words I took,
Such heat and blood into my Face it struck,
My self could hardly tell for what it came,
Whether I blushed for anger or for shame:
But when your face I saw, I straight grew cold,
I started, trembled, and my Eyeballs rolled:
The breath I had scarce served me to retire,
Ere in a Swoon I gently did expire.
But my high Thoughts, and too too gen'rous Flame,
Scorned to be curbed by a needless Shame:
Hate pleaded next, fiercer than all the rest,
And yet a greater stranger to my breast;
For my calm breast, till now was ne'er the Seat
Of Surly Passion, or unruly Heat,
Hate urged, each Action looked as done in scorn,
Then asked if I to bear affronts was born:
This and much more She said, but all in vain,
Ill thoughts of you I ne'er could entertain;
Your great Affronts, I witty Jests did think,
And at coy Looks would turn my head, or wink:
Nay, when you gave such proofs of your Disdain,
That I must see't, I gave't another Name;
I only thought you saw me go astray,
And generously put me in my way.
How strangely is my Life perplexed by fate!
I would not Love, and yet I cannot hate.
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