Verse > Anthologies > T. R. Smith, ed. > Poetica Erotica: A Collection of Rare and Curious Amatory Verse
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T. R. Smith, comp.  Poetica Erotica: Rare and Curious Amatory Verse.  1921–22.
 
Lamentation for Dorinda
By Matthew Prior (1664–1721)
 
(From Poems, 1722)

FAREWELL ye shady walks, and fountains,
Sinking valleys, rising mountains:
Farewell ye crystal streams, that pass
Thro’ fragrant meads of verdant grass:
Farewell ye flowers, sweet and fair,        5
That used to grace Dorinda’s hair:
Farewell ye woods, who used to shade
The pressing youth, and yielding maid:
Farewell ye birds, whose morning song
Oft made us know we slept too long:        10
Farewell dear bed, so often prest,
So often above others blest,
With the kind weight of all her charms,
When panting, dying, in my arms.
Dorinda’s gone, gone far away,        15
She’s gone, and Strephon cannot stay:
By sympathetic ties I find
That to Her sphere I am confin’d;
My motions still on Her must wait,
And what She wills to me is fate.        20
 
  She’s gone, O! hear it all ye bowers,
Ye walks, ye fountains, trees, and flowers,
For whom you made your earliest show,
For whom you took a pride to grow.
She’s gone, O! hear ye nightingales,        25
Ye mountains ring it to the vales,
And echo to the country round,
The mournful, dismal, killing sound:
Dorinda’s gone, and Strephon goes,
To find with Her his lost repose.        30
 
  But ere I go, O! let me see,
That all things mourn Her loss like me:
Play, play, no more ye spouting fountains,
Rise ye valleys, sink ye mountains;
Ye walks, in moss, neglected lie,        35
Ye birds, be mute; ye stream, be dry.
Fade, fade, ye flowers, and let the rose
No more its blushing buds disclose:
Ye spreading beech, and taper fir,
Languish away in mourning Her;        40
And never let your friendly shade,
The stealth of other Lovers aid.
And thou, O! dear, delightful bed,
The altar where Her maidenhead,
With burning cheeks, and down cast eyes,        45
With panting breasts, and kind replies,
And other due solemnity,
Was offer’d up to love and me.
Hereafter suffer no abuse,
Since consecrated to our use,        50
As thou art sacred, don’t profane
Thy self with any vulgar stain,
But to thy pride be still displayed,
The print her lovely limbs have made:
See, in a moment, all is chang’d,        55
The flowers shrunk up, the trees disrang’d,
And that which wore so sweet a face,
Become a horrid, desert place.
Nature Her influence withdraws,
Th’ effect must follow still the cause,        60
And where Dorinda will reside,
Nature must there all gay provide.
Decking that happy spot of earth,
Like Eden’s-Garden at its birth,
To please Her matchless, darling Maid,        65
The wonder of her Forming-Trade;
Excelling All who e’er Excelled,
And as we ne’er the like beheld,
So neither is, nor e’er can be,
Her Parallel, or Second She.        70
 
 
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