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With am'rous strife exanimate I lay,
Around your neck my languid arm I threw;
My trembling heart had just forgot to play,
Its vital spirit from my bosom flew:


The Stygian lake; the dreary realms below,
To which the sun a chearing beam denies;
Old Charon's boat, slow-wand'ring to and fro,
Promiscuous pass'd before my swimming eyes:


When you, NeƦra! with your humid breath,
O'er my parch'd lips the deep-fetch'd kiss bestow'd;
Sudden, my fleeting soul return'd from death,
And freightless hence th' infernal pilot row'd.


Yet soft,--for, oh! my crying senses stray;--
Not quite unfreighted to the Stygian shore
Old Charon steer'd his lurid bark away,
My plaintive shade he to the Manes bore.


Then since my soul can here no more remain,
A part of thine, sweet life! that loss supplies;
But what this feeble fabric must sustain,
If of thy soul that part its aid denies?


And much I fear:--for, struggling to be free,
Oft from its new abode it fain would roam;
Oft seeks, impatient to return to thee,
Some secret pass to gain its native home.


Unless thy fost'ring breath retards its flight,
It now prepares to quit this falling frame;
Haste, then, to mind thy clingy lips unite,
And let one spirit feed each vital flame!


Till, after frequent ecstasies of bliss,
Mutual, unsating to th' impassion'd heart,
From bodies thus conjoin'd, in one long kiss,
That single life which nourish'd both shall part.