Now had you drank cold Tanais' wave,
Whose streams the drear vale slowly lave,
A barbarous Scythian's Bride,
Yet, Lyce, might you grieve to hear
Your Lover braves the winds severe,
That pierce his aching side.
O listen to the howling groves,
That labour o'er your proud alcoves,
And hear the jarring door!
Mark how the star, at eve that rose,
Has brightly glaz'd the settled snows,
While every leaf is hoar!
Gay Venus hates this cold disdain; -
Cease then its rigors to maintain,
That sprightly joys impede,
Lest the strain'd cord, with which you bind
The freedom of my amorous mind,
In rapid whirl recede!
Born of a jocund Tuscan Sire,
Did he transmit his ardent fire
That, like Ulysses' Queen,
His beauteous Daughter still should prove
Relentless to the sighs of Love,
With frozen heart and mien? -
If nor blue cheek of shivering Swain,
Nor yet his richest gifts obtain
Your smile, and soft'ning brow;
Nor if a faithless Husband's rage
For a gay Syren of the stage,
And broken nuptial vow;
If weak e'en Jealousy should prove
To bend your heart to truer love,
Yet pity these my pains,
O Nymph, than oaks more hard, and fierce
As snakes, that Afric's thickets pierce,
Those terrors of the plains!
When heavy falls the pattering shower,
And streaming spouts their torrents pour
Upon my shrinking head,
Not always shall wild Love command
These limbs obsequiously to stand
Beneath your dropping shed.