"Distorted Nature shakes at the Controul, / With strong Convulsions rends my strugling Soul; / Each vital String cracks with th' unequal Strife, / Departing Love racks like departing Life; / Yet there the Sorrow ceases with the Breath, / But Love each day renews th' torturing scene of Death."
— Egerton [née Fyge; other married name Field], Sarah (1670-1723)
The hungry Epicure not think of Food;
Bid the Antartick touch the Artick Pole:
When these obey I'll force Love from my Soul.
As Light and Heat compose the Genial Sun,
So Love and I essentially are one:
E'er your Advice a thousand ways I try'd
To ease the inherent Pain, but 'twas deny'd;
Tho' I resolv'd, and griev'd, and almost dy'd.
Then I would needs dilate the mighty Flame,
Play the Coquet, hazard my dearest Fame:
The modish Remedy I try'd in vain,
One thought of him contracts it all again.
Weary'd at last, curst Hymen's Aid I chose;
But find the fetter'd Soul has no Repose.
Now I'm a double Slave to Love and Vows:
As if my former Sufferings were too small,
I've made the guiltless Torture-Criminal.
E'er this I gave a loose to fond Desire,
Durst smile, be kind, look, languish and admire,
With wishing Sighs fan the transporting Fire.
But now these soft Allays are so like Sin,
I'm forc'd to keep the mighty Anguish in;
Check my too tender Thoughts and rising Sighs,
As well as eager Arms and longing Eyes.
My Kindness to his Picture I refrain,
Nor now imbrace the lifeless lovely Swain.
To press the charming Shade tho' thro' a Glass,
Seems a Platonick breach of Hymen's Laws,
Thus nicely fond, I only stand and gaze.
View the dear conq'ring Form that forc'd my Fate,
Till I become as motionless as that.
My sinking Limbs deny their wonted Aid,
Fainting I lean against my frighted Maid;
Whose cruel Care restores my Sense and Pain,
For soon as I have Life I love again,
And with the fated softness strive in vain.
Distorted Nature shakes at the Controul,
With strong Convulsions rends my strugling Soul;
Each vital String cracks with th' unequal Strife,
Departing Love racks like departing Life;
Yet there the Sorrow ceases with the Breath,
But Love each day renews th' torturing scene of Death.