All this with indignation spoke,
In vain I struggled with the yoke 40
Of mighty Love; that conqu’ring look,
When next beheld, like lightning strook
My blasted soul, and made me bow
Lower than those I pitied now.
So the tall stag, upon the brink
Of some smooth stream about to drink,
Surveying there his armed head, 47
With shame remembers that he fled
The scorned dogs, resolves to try
The combat next; but if their cry
Invades again his trembling ear,
He straight resumes his wonted care,
Leaves the untasted spring behind,
And, wing’d with fear, outflies the wind.
Let brutes and vegetals, that cannot think,
So far as drought and nature urges, drink;
A more indulgent mistress guides our sp’rits,
Reason, that dares beyond our appetites;
(She would our care, as well as thirst, redress),
And with divinity rewards excess.
Deserted Ariadne, thus supplied,
Did perjured Theseus’ cruelty deride;
Bacchus embraced, from her exalted thought
Banish’d the man, her passion, and his fault. 10
Bacchus and Phoebus are by Jove allied,
And each by other’s timely heat supplied;
All that the grapes owe to his rip’ning fires
Is paid in numbers which their juice inspires.
Wine fills the veins, and healths are understood
To give our friends a title to our blood;
Who, naming me, doth warm his courage so,
Shows for my sake what his bold hand would do.
Such moving sounds from such a careless touch!
So unconcern’d herself, and we so much!
What art is this, that with so little pains
Transports us thus, and o’er our spirits reigns?
The trembling strings about her fingers crowd,
And tell their joy for every kiss aloud.
Small force there needs to make them tremble so;
Touch’d by that hand, who would not tremble too?
Here Love takes stand, and while she charms the ear,
Empties his quiver on the list’ning deer. 10
Music so softens and disarms the mind,
That not an arrow does resistance find.
Thus the fair tyrant celebrates the prize,
And acts herself the triumph of her eyes:
So Nero once, with harp in hand, survey’d
His flaming Rome, and as it burn’d he play’d.
Behold, and listen, while the fair
Breaks in sweet sounds the willing air,
And with her own breath fans the fire
Which her bright eyes do first inspire.
What reason can that love control,
Which more than one way courts the soul?
So when a flash of lightning falls
On our abodes, the danger calls
For human aid, which hopes the flame 9
To conquer, though from heaven it came;
But if the winds with that conspire,
Men strive not, but deplore the fire.