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Let wealth, let honour, wait the wedded dame,
95 And each warm wish springs mutual from the heart.
Ver. 88. No, make me mistress to the man I love ;] “ Deum testem invoco, si me Augustus, universo præsidens mundo, matrimonii honore dignaretur, totumque mihi orbem confirmaret in perpetuo præsidendum, charius mihi, et dignius videretur tua dici meretrix, quam illius imperatrix."-Hel. Abelardo, Ep. i.
" When Maisterie comes, the Lord of Love anon
This sure is bliss, if bliss on earth there be,
Alas, how chang’d! what sudden horrors rise!
Canst thou forget that sad, that solemn day, When victims at yon altar's foot we lay? Canst thou forget what tears that moment fell, When, warm in youth, I bade the world farewell ? As with cold lips I kiss'd the sacred veil, The shrines all trembled, and the lamps grew pale: Heav'n scarce believ'd the conquest it survey'd, And Saints with wonder heard the vows I made. Yet then, to those dread altars as I drew, 115 Not on the Cross my eyes were fix'd, but you ; Not grace, or zeal, love only was my call, And if I lose thy love, I lose my all.
Ver. 108. Yon altar's] The altar of Paraclete, says Mr. Berrington, did not then exist; they were not professed at the same time or place; one was at Argenteuil, the other at St. Denys.
Warton. Ver. 111. As with cold lips] This description of the solemnity of her taking the veil, the prognostics that attended it, her passion intruding itself in the midst of her devotion, Ver. 115; the sudden check to her passion, Ver. 125; need not be pointed out to any reader of sensibility, and lover of true poetry.
Come! with thy looks, thy words, relieve my woe;
Ah, think at least thy flock deserves thy care,
NOTES. Ver 119. Come! with thy looks, &c.] These lines cannot be justified by any thing in the letters of Eloisa. What approaches the nearest to them is a passage in the first Epistle, which is thus given in Mr. Berrington's translation. “ I am not to have the happiness of your company; give me therefore what else you can. I ask but a few lines;
you, who are so rich in words, refuse me that faint image of yourself?" The original affords still less grounds for the passage in the poem. “ Attende, obsecro, quæ requiro; et parva hæc videbuntur, et tibi facillima. Dum tui præsentia fraudor, verborum saltem votis, quorum tibi copia est, tuæ mihi imaginis præsenta dulcedinem. Frustrà te in rebus dapsilem expecto, si in verbis avarum sustineo."
Ver. 130. Ah think at least, &c.] “ Hujus quippe loci tu, post Deum, solus es fundator, solus hujus oratorii constructor, solus hujus Congregationis ædificator-in ipsis cubilibus ferarum, in ipsis latibulis latronum, ubi nec nominari Deus solet ! divinum erexisti Tabernaculum, &c.—Heloisa Abelardo. Ep. I.
Ver. 133. You ruis'd these hallow'd walls;] He founded the Monastery.
No weeping orphan saw his father's stores 135
Ver. 136. Our shrines irradiate,] Non magis auro fulgentia atque ebore, simulacra, quàm lucos, et in iis silentia ipsa adoramus, says Pliny very finely, of places of worship.
Warton.. Ver. 141. In these lone] All the images drawn from the Convent, from this line down to line 170, and particularly the personification of Melancholy, expanding her dreadful wings over its whole circuit, cannot be sufficiently applauded. The fine epithet, browner horror, is from Dryden. It is amusing to read with this passage Mr. Gray's excellent Account of his Visit to the Grande Chartreuse. Works, 4to. p. 67. These exquisite lines will be highly relished by all those,
Who never fail
Il Penseroso, v. 155.
Thy eyes diffus'd a reconciling ray,
145 And gleams of glory brighten'd all the day. But now no face divine contentment wears, 'Tis all blank sadness, or continual tears. See how the force of others' pray’rs I try, O pious fraud of am'rous charity!
Yet here for ever, ever must I stay;