ON A COPY OF VERSES MADE IN A DREAM AND SENT TO ME IN A MORNING BEFORE I WAS AWOKE
by: Aphra Behn (1640-1689)
POEMS BY APHRA BEHN
- myntas, if your wit in dreams
- Can furnish you with themes,
- What must it do when your soul looks abroad,
- Quick'nd with agitations of the sense,
- And dispossessed of sleeps dull heavy load,
- When ev'ry syllable has eloquence?
- And if by chance such wounds you make,
- And in your sleep such welcome mischiefs do;
- What are your powers when you're awake,
- Directed by design and reason too?
- I slept, as duller mortals use,
- Without the music of a thought,
- When by a gentle breath, soft as thy Muse,
- Thy name to my glad ear was brought:
- Amyntas! cried the page -- and at the sound,
- My list'ning soul unusual pleasure found.
- So the harmonious Spheres surprise,
- Whilst the all-ravished shepherd gazes round,
- And wonders whence the charms should rise,
- That can at once both please and wound.
- Whilst trembling I unripped the seal
- Of what you'd sent,
- My heart with an impatient zeal,
- Without my eyes, would needs reveal
- Its bus'ness and intent.
- But so beyond the sense they were
- Of ev'ry scribbling lovers common art,
- That now I find an equal share
- Of love and admiration in my heart.
- And while I read, in vain I strove
- To hide the pleasure which I took;
- Bellario saw in ev'ry look
- My smiling joy and blushing love.
- Soft ev'ry word, easy each line, and true;
- Brisk, witty, manly, strong and gay;
- The thoughts are tender all, and new,
- And fancy ev'rywhere does gentle play,
- Amyntas, if you thus go on,
- Like an unwearied conqueror day and night,
- The world at last must be undone.
- You do not only kill at sight,
- But like a Parthian in your flight,
- Whether you rally or retreat,
- You still have arrows for defeat.