Famous Poems by
Famous Poets :
>> Aphra Behn <<
One Day the amorous Lisander,
By an impatient passion sway'd,
Surpris'd fair Cloris, that lov'd maid,
Who could defend her self no longer ;
All things did with his love conspire,
The gilded Planet of the day,
In his gay Chariot, drawn by Fire,
Was now descending to the Sea,
And left no Light to guide the World,
But what from Cloris brighter Eyes was hurl'd.
In a lone thicket made for Love,
Silent as yielding maids' consent,
She with a charming languishment
Permits his force, yet gently strove;
Her hands his bosom softly meet,
But not to put him back design'd,
Rather to draw 'em on inclin'd,
Whilst he lay trembling at her feet;
Resistance 'tis in vain to show;
She wants the power to say - Ah! what d'ye do?
Her bright eyes sweat, and yet severe,
Where love and shame confusedly strive,
Fresh Vigor to Lisander give;
And whispering softly in his ear,
She cried - Cease - cease - your vain desire,
Or I'll call out - What would you do?
My dearer honour, ev'n to you,
I cannot, must not give - retire,
Or take this life, whose chiefest part
I gave you with the conquest of my heart.
But he as much unused to fear,
As he was capable of love,
The blessed minutes to improve,
Kisses her lips, her neck, her hair!
Each touch her new desires alarms!
His burning trembling hand he prest
Upon her swelling snowy breast,
While she lay panting in his arms.
All her unguarded beauties lie
The spoils and trophies of the enemy.
And now, without respect or fear,
He seeks the objects of his vows;
His love no modesty allows:
By swift degrees advancing - where
His daring hand that altar seized,
Where gods of love do sacrifice;
That awful throne, that paradise
Where rage is tamed, and anger pleas'd ;
That fountain where delight still flows,
And gives the universal world repose.
Her balmy lips incountring his,
Their bodies as their souls are joyn'd,
Where both in transports unconfin'd,
Extend themselves upon the moss.
Cloris half dead and breathless lay,
Her soft eyes cast a humid light,
Such as divides the day and night;
Or falling stars, whose fires decay ;
And now no signs of life she shows,
But what in short-breathed sighs returns and
He saw how at her length she lay,
He saw her rising Bosom bare,
Her loose thin robes, through which appear
A shape designed for love and play;
Abandoned by her pride and shame,
She does her softest joys dispence,
Off'ring her virgin-innocence
A victim to loves sacred flame;
While the o'er-ravished shepherd lies,
Unable to perform the sacrifice.
Ready to taste a thousand joys,
The too transported hapless swain,
Found the vast pleasure turned to pain;
Pleasure, which too much love destroys:
The willing garments by he laid,
And Heaven all open to his view,
Mad to possess, himself he threw
On the defenceless lovely maid.
But oh! what envying gods conspire
To snatch his power, yet leave him the desire!
Nature's support, (without whose aid
She can no humane being give)
It self now wants the art to live,
Faintness it slackened nerves invade:
In vain th' enraged youth essayed
To call his fleeting vigour back,
No motion 'twill from motion take,
Excess of love his love betray'd ;
In vain he toils, in vain commands,
The insensible fell weeping in his hand.
In this so amorous cruel strife,
Where love and fate were too severe,
The poor Lisander in despair
Renounced his reason with his life.
Now all the brisk and active fire
That should the nobler part inflame,
Served to increase his rage and shame,
And left no spark for new desire;
Not all her naked charms could move,
Or calm that rage that had debauched his love.
Cloris returning from the trance
Which love and soft desire had bred,
Her timorous hand she gently laid,
(Or guided by design or chance)
Upon that Fabulous Priapus,
That potent god, as poets feign.
But never did young shepherdess
Gath'ring of fern upon the plain,
More nimbly draw her fingers back,
Finding beneath the verdant leaves a snake.
Then Cloris her fair hand withdrew,
Finding that god of her desires
Disarmed of all his powerful fires,
And cold as flowers bathed in the morning dew.
Who can the Nymph's confusion guess?
The blood forsook the hinder place,
And strewed with blushes all her face,
Which both disdain and shame exprest;
And from Lisander's arms she fled,
Leaving him fainting on the gloomy bed.
Like lightning through the grove she hies,
Or Daphne from the Delphick God;
No print upon the grassy road
She leaves, t' instruct pursuing eyes.
The wind that wantoned in her hair,
And with her ruffled garments played,
Discovered in the flying maid
All that the gods e'er made, if fair.
So Venus, when her love was slain,
With fear and haste flew o'er the fatal plain.
The Nymph's resentments, none but I
Can well imagine, or condole ;
But none can guess Lisander's Soul,
But those who swayed his destiny:
His silent griefs, swell up to storms,
And not one god, his fury spares,
He cursed his birth, his fate, his stars,
But more the shepherdess's charms;
Whose soft bewitching influence
Had damn'd him to the hell of impotence.