"Was there one joy, whose image does not last? / But that One; most extatic, most refin'd, / Reigns fresh, and will for ever in my mind, / With such a power of charms it storm'd my soul, / That nothing ever can it's strength controul."
— Prior, Matthew (1664-1721)
Was there one joy, whose image does not last?
But that One; most extatic, most refin'd,
Reigns fresh, and will for ever in my mind,
With such a power of charms it storm'd my soul,
That nothing ever can it's strength controul.
Not sleep, not age, not absence can avail,
Reflection, ever young, must still prevail.
What influence-divine did guide that hour,
Which gave to minutes the Almighty Power,
To fix (whilst other joys are not a span)
A pleasure lasting as the life of man.
(ll. 7-18, p. 695)
See Miscellaneous Works of His Late Exellency Matthew Prior, Esq; Consisting of Poems on Several Occasions, Viz. Epistles, Tales, Satires, Epigrams, &C. With Some Select Latin Performances. Now First Published from His Original Manuscripts. Revised by Himself, and Copied Fair for the Press, by Mr. Adrian Drift, His Executor. (Dublin: Printed by S. Powell, for G. Risk at the Shakespear's-Head, G. Ewing at the Angel and Bible, W. Smith, at the Hercules, Booksellers in Dame-Street, and G. Faulkner, in Essex-Street, 1739). <Link to ECCO>
Text from Dialogues of the Dead and Other Works in Prose and Verse, ed. A. R. Waller (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1907).
Reading The Literary Works of Matthew Prior. Ed. H. Bunker Wright and Monroe K. Spears. 2 vols. 2nd ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1971).