Two Thousand Kisses of the sweetest kind,
'Twas once agreed, our mutual love should bind;
First from my lips a rapt'rous Thousand flow'd,
Then you a Thousand in your turn bestow'd;
The promis'd Numbers were fulfill'd, I own,
But Love suffic'd with Numbers ne'er was known!
What mortal strives to count each springing blade,
That spreads the surface of a grassy mead?
Who prays for number'd ears of rip'ning grain,
When lavish Ceres yellows o'er the plain?
Or to a scanty hundred wou'd confine
The clust'ring grapes, when Bacchus loads the vine?
Who asks the Guardian of the honied Store
To grant a thousand bees, and grant no more?
Or tells the drops, while o'er some thirsty field
The liquid stores are from above distill'd?
When Jove with fury hurls the moulded hail,
And earth and sea destructive storms assail,
Or when he bids, from his tempestuous sky,
The winds unchain'd with wasting horror fly,
The God ne'er heeds what harvests he may spoil,
Nor yet regards each desolated soil:
So, when its blessings bounteous Heav'n ordains,
It ne'er with sparing hand the Good restrains;
Evils in like abundance, too, it show'rs;
Well suits profusion with immortal Pow'rs!
Then since such gifts with heav'nly minds agree,
Shed, Goddess-like, your blandishments on me;
And say, Naæra! for that form divine
Speaks thee descended of ætherial line;
Say, Goddess! than that Goddess lovelier far
Who roams o'er ocean in her pearly car;
Your kisses, boons celestial! why withhold?
Or why by scanty numbers are they told?
Still you ne'er count, hard-hearted Maid! those sighs
Which in my lab'ring breast incessant rise;
Nor yet those lucid drops of tender woe,
Which down my cheeks in quick succession flow.
Yes, dearest Life! your kisses number all;
And number, too, my sorrowing tears that fall:
Or, if you count not all the tears, my fair!
To count the kisses sure you must forbear.
But let thy lips now soothe a lover's pain;
(Yet griefs like mine what soothings shall restrain!)
If tears unnumber'd pity can regard,
Unnumber'd kisses must each tear reward.