The hope of praise, the dread of shame,
Can rouse the tortur'd breast no more;
The wild desire, the guilty flame,
Absorbs each wish it felt before.
But if affection gently thrills
The soul, by purer dreams possest,
The pleasing balm of mortal ills
In love can soothe the aching breast:
If thus thou comest in disguise,
Fair Venus! from thy native heaven,
What heart, unfeeling, would despise
The sweetest boon the Gods have given?
But, never from thy golden bow,
May I beneath the shaft expire!
Whose creeping venom, sure and slow,
Awakes an all-consuming fire:
Ye racking doubts! ye jealous fears!
With others wage internal war;
Repentance! source of future tears,
From me be ever distant far!
May no distracting thoughts destroy
- If thus thou com'st in gentle guise,—[Hours of Idleness.]