Verse > Anthologies > J. C. Squire, ed. > A Book of Women’s Verse
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J. C. Squire, ed.  A Book of Women’s Verse.  1921.
 
From Her Elegy on Her Husband, who died Young
By Elizabeth (Singer) Rowe (1674–1737)
 
LOST in despair, distracted and forlorn,
The lover I, and tender husband mourn.
Whate’er to such superior worth was due,
Whate’er excess the fondest passion knew,
I felt for thee, dear youth; my joys, my care,        5
My prayers themselves were thine, and only where
Thou wast concern’d, my virtue was sincere.
Whene’er I begg’d for blessings on thy head,
Nothing was cold or formal that I said.
My warmest vows to Heav’n were made for thee,        10
And love still mingled with my piety.
O! thou wast all my glory, all my pride;
Thro’ life’s uncertain paths my constant guide.
Regardless of the world, to gain thy praise
Was all that could my just ambition raise.
.      .      .      .      .      .      .
        15
List’ning to him, my cares were charm’d to rest,
And love and silent rapture fill’d my breast,
Unheeded, the gay moments took their flight,
And time was only measur’d by delight.
I hear the lov’d, the melting accent still,        20
And still the warm, the tender transport feel:
Again I see the sprightly passions rise,
And life and pleasure kindle in his eyes.
My fancy paints him now with ev’ry grace,
But ah! the dear resemblance mocks my fond embrace,        25
The flatt’ring vision takes its hasty flight,
And scenes of horror swim before my sight;
Grief and despair in all their terrors rise;
A dying lover pale and gasping lies.
Each dismal circumstance appears in view,        30
The fatal object is for ever new,
.      .      .      .      .      .      .
Why did they tear me from thy breathless clay?
I should have stay’d and wept my life away.
Yet, gentle shade! whether thou now dost rove,
Thro’ some blest vale, or ever-verdant grove,        35
One moment listen to my grief, and take
The softest vows that ever love can make.
For thee, all thoughts of pleasure I forgo,
For thee my tears shall never cease to flow;
For thee at once I from the world retire,        40
To feed in silent shades a hopeless fire.
My bosom all thy image shall retain,
The full impression there shall still remain:
As thou hast taught my kinder heart to prove
The noblest height, and elegance of love;        45
That sacred passion I to thee confine,
My spotless faith shall be for ever thine.
 
 
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