Ah! what ungovern'd rage, declare,
Neæra, too capricious Fair!
What unreveng'd, unguarded wrong,
Could urge thee thus to wound my tongue?
Perhaps you deam th' afflictive pains
Too trifling, which my heart sustains;
Nor think enough my bosom smarts
With all the sure, destructive darts
Incessant sped from ev'ry charm;
That thus your wanton teeth must harm,
Must harm that little tuneful Thing,
Which wont so oft thy praise to sing;
What time the Morn has streak'd the skies,
Or Ev'ning's faded radiance dies;
Thro' painful Days consuming-slow,
Thro' ling'ring Nights of am'rous woe.
This tongue, thou know'st, has oft extoll'd
Thy hair in shining ringlets roll'd,
Thine eyes with tender passion bright,
Thy swelling breast of purest white,
Thy taper neck of polish'd grace,
And all the beauties of thy face,
Beyond the lucid orbs above,
Beyond the starry throne of Jove;
Extoll'd them in such lofty lays!
That Gods with envy heard the praise.
Oft has it call'd thee ev'ry name
Which boundless rapture taught to frame;
My life! my joy! my soul's desire!
All that my wish cou'd e'er require!
My pretty Venus! and my love!
My gentle turtle! and my dove!
Till Cypria's self with envy heard
Each partial, each endearing word.
Say, beauteous Tyrant! dost delight
To wound this tongue in wanton spite?
Because, alas! too well aware
That ev'ry wrong it yet could bear
Ne'er urg'd it once in angry strain
Of thy unkindness to complain;
But suff'ring patient all its harms,
Still wou'd it sing thy matchless charms!
Sing the soft lustre of thine eye!
Sing thy sweet lips of rosy dye!
Nay, still those guilty teeth 'twould sing!
Whence all its cruel mischiefs spring:
E'en now it lisps, in fault'ring lays,
While yet it bleeds, Neæra's praise:
Thus, beauteous Tyrant! you control,
Thus sway my fond, enamour'd soul!