249. Sappho Redivivus: A Fragment
BY all I lovd, neglected and forgot,
No friendly face eer lights my squalid cot;
Shunnd, hated, wrongd, unpitied, unredrest,
The mockd quotation of the scorners jest!
Evn the poor súpport of my wretched life,
Snatched by the violence of legal strife.
Oft grateful for my very daily bread
To those my familys once large bounty fed;
A welcome inmate at their homely fare,
My griefs, my woes, my sighs, my tears they share:
(Their vulgar souls unlike the souls refind,
The fashioned marble of the polished mind).
In vain would Prudence, with decorous sneer,
Point out a censuring world, and bid me fear;
Above the world, on wings of Love, I rise
I know its worst, and can that worst despise;
Let Prudence direst bodements on me fall,
M[ontgomer]y, rich reward, oerpays them all!
Mild zephyrs waft thee to lifes farthest shore,
Nor think of me and my distress more,
Falsehood accurst! No! still I beg a place,
Still near thy heart some little, little trace:
For that dear trace the world I would resign:
O let me live, and die, and think it mine!
I burn, I burn, as when thro ripend corn
By driving winds the crackling flames are borne;
Now raving-wild, I curse that fatal night,
Then bless the hour that charmd my guilty sight:
In vain the laws their feeble force oppose,
Chaind at Loves feet, they groan, his vanquishd foes.
In vain Religion meets my shrinking eye,
I dare not combat, but I turn and fly:
Conscience in vain upbraids th unhallowd fire,
Love grasps her scorpionsstifled they expire!
Reason drops headlong from his sacred throne,
Your dear idea reigns, and reigns alone;
Each thought intoxicated homage yields,
And riots wanton in forbidden fields.
By all on high adoring mortals know!
By all the conscious villain fears below!
By your dear self!the last great oath I swear,
Not life, nor soul, were ever half so dear!
249. Sappho Redivivus: A Fragment by Robert Burns