Ephelia

England

To Clovis, Desiring Me To Bring Him Into Marina's Company.

Charming Insulter! sure you might have chose
Some easier way than this you now propose,
To try the boundless Friendship I profess;
For if Fate can, this Task will make it less.

Clovis
, believe; if any Thing there is
I can deny your Merit, it is this:
If I had Rocks of Diamonds, Mines of Ore,
Engrossed the Pearls upon the Eastern-shore;
With as much Joy, I'd lay 'em at your Feet,
As Youthful Monarchs in new Empires meet.
Could you be Happy by my Misery,
In any shape but this, I'd wretched be:
With every other Wish I would comply,
But bright
Marina's
Sight I must deny:
That Gift's too prodigal; I'd rather part
With Life itself, and give my bleeding Heart:
For I with Blushes own, that Sacred Fire
Once ruled my Breast, degenerate to desire.
I thought it Friendship; Swore it should be so,
Yet 'spite of Me, it would to Passion grow.
When to this worthless Heart, you did address,
With all the Marks that Passion could express;
On my soft Neck your Pensive Head would lay,
And Sigh, and Vow, and Kiss the Hours away.
Your Tears, and languished Looks I did neglect,
And would not Love, yet highly did Respect;
Thought you the best of Men, and counseled you,
To turn your Passion into Friendship too:
Told you, my Heart was cruel
Strephon's
Prize,
His devout, tho neglected Sacrifice:
Would often talk of sweet
Marina's
Charms,
And oft'ner with her lodged in your dear Arms.
Ah, fatal Wish! ye Gods! why should you mind
The foolish Wishes made by Woman-kind?
I every hour saw
Strephon's
Love decay;
And Clovis more Endeared me every day.
Why at so vast a Rate should he Oblige?
Or, why so soon should he remove his Siege?
That Hour that Mine began, Your Love did end,
You took my Counsel and became my Friend:
And by those Ties, did earnestly request,
That I would make
Marina's
Heart your Guest.
Oh, cruel Task! you Destinies, am I
In my own Ruin made a Property?
Yet want(1) the Pow'r the Treason to deny?
Yes; tho this piece of knotty Friendship be
Hard in itself, and harder far to me;
I'll try, and in th'Attempt such Vigor show,
I'll make her Yours, tho Fate itself say no:
I'll tell your Merits in such soft, smooth Strains,
Shall leave a Thrilling Pleasure in her Veins;
And when my Tongue no sweeter Words can find,
I'll look, as there were ten times more behind.
Then speak again; nor leave her till I spy
She is Enthralled, and loves as much as I.
Then I'll present you with this Beauteous Slave,
The greatest Gift a Lover ever gave:
And when you cannot wish happier to grow,
Then think with how much Pain I made you so.
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