The Complaint to Louisa of the Adelphi

Louisa—gen'rous, sympathetic maid;
Where should I bring my sorrows but to you?
Where seek the balm of pity—friendship's aid?
But where that pity, and that friendship grew?

Once did my trembling, love-sick heart implore;
Once you espous'd, and sweetly urg'd my plea;
Ah! now kind soother, let a tear deplore,
A wretch just blasted by the Fates' decree.

Long had I play'd in Cupid's myrtle vale;
Pure all my joys—for Delia was my song:
Hope still pervaded love's suspecting tale,
And drank sweet poison from the charmer's tongue.

But late a rival suitor, rich and bold,
Try'd ev'ry art my Delia's hand to gain:
Each subtle vow he tinsel'd o'er with gold,
And built his little triumph on my pain.

Vain were his projects—vain the sordid lure;
His wealth unenvied, and his hopes unsped:
Had but my Delia, in that luckless hour,
Thought how I suffer'd, how I lov'd and bled!

For, oh! she's gentle as the weeping dove,
And meek-ey'd pity rules her hallow'd breast;
'Twas this, and beauty's charm, that seal'd my love,
Cut short my freedom, and undid my rest.

Curss'd be the venal bribery of gain,
That dar'd to tempt a nature so sublime:
But all is lost!—Delia rejects the swain,
Whose want of affluence is all his crime.

No more, Louisa—I shall sing no more!
Pleasure, farewel! ye syren nymphs be mute;
Sigh heap'd on sigh shall Delia's loss deplore,
Till break my heart-strings, as I have broke my lute.
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