THE LOVERS NIGHT
by: George Farquhar (1677-1707)
POEMS BY GEORGE FARQUHAR
- HE Nights
black Curtain o're the World was spread,
- And all Mankind lay Emblems of the Dead,
- A deep and awful Silence void of Light,
- With dusky Wings sat brooding o're the Night,
- The rowling Orbs mov'd slow from East to West,
- With Harmony that lull'd the World to rest.
- The Moon withdrawn, the Oozy Flouds lay dead,
- The very influence of the Moon was fled;
- Some twinkling Stars, that thro' the Clouds did peep,
- Seeming to wink as if they wanted Sleep,
- All Nature hush'd, as when dissolv'd and lay'd
- In silent Chaos e're the World was made;
- Only the beating of the Lover's Breast
- Made Noise enough to keep his Eyes from Rest;
- His little World, not like the greater, lay
- In loudest Tumults of disorder'd Day;
- His Sun of Beauty shone, to light his Breast
- With all its various Toils and Labours prest;
- The Sea of Passions in his working Soul,
- Rais'd by the Tempests of his Sighs did rowl
- In towring Flouds, to overwhelm the whole,
- Those Tyrants of the Mind, vain Hope and Fear,
- That still by turns usurp an Empire there,
- Now raising Man on high, then plunging in Despair.
- Thus Damon lies, his Grief no Rest affords,
- Till swelling full, it thus burst out in Words.
- Oh! I could curse all Womankind, but one,
- And yet my Griefs proceed from her alone.
- Was not our Paradise by Woman lost?
- But in this Woman still we find it most:
- Hell's greatest Curse a Woman if unkind,
- Yet Heaven's great Blessing, if she loves, we find.
- Oh! if she lov'd, no God the Bliss cou'd tell,
- She wou'd be Heaven it self, were she not so much Hell.
- Thus our chief Joys with most Allays are curst,
- And our best things, when once corrupted, worst.
- But Heaven is just; our selves the Idols fram'd,
- And are for such vain Worship justly damn'd.
- Thus the poor Lover argued with his Fate;
- Emilia's Charms now did his Love create;
- That Love repuls'd, now prompted him to hate.
- Sometimes his Arms wou'd cross his Bosom rest,
- Hugging her lovely Image printed on his Breast,
- Where flattering Painter Fancy shew'd his Art,
- In charming Draughts, his Pencil Cupid's Dart.
- The Shadow drawn so lively did appear,
- As made him think the real Substance there.
- Then was he blest, all Rapture, stunn'd with Joy,
- Excess of Pleasure did his Bliss destroy;
- He thought her naked, soft, and yielding waste
- Within his pressing Arms lay folded fast;
- Nay, by the Gods, she really there was plac'd;
- Else how cou'd Pleasure to such Raptures flow?
- Th' Effect was real -- Then, the Cause was so.
- What more can most substantial Pleasures boast
- Than Joy when present, Memory when past?
- Then, Bliss is real which the Fancy frames,
- Or these call'd real Joys are only Dreams.