Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A PRAYER FOR INDIFFERENCE, by FRANCES (FANNY) MACARTNEY GREVILLE



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A PRAYER FOR INDIFFERENCE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Oft I've implored the gods in vain
Last Line: Contented, half to please.
Subject(s): Love; Prayer


Oft I've implored the gods in vain,
And prayed till I've been weary;
For once I'll try my wish to gain
Of Oberon, the fairy.

Sweet airy being, wanton sprite,
That liv'st in woods unseen,
And oft by Cynthia's silver light
Trip'st gaily o'er the green;

If e'er thy pitying heart was moved,
As ancient stories tell,
And for th' Athenian maid, who loved,
Thou sought'st a wondrous spell,

Oh! deign once more t' exert thy power,
Haply some herb or tree,
Sovereign as juice from western flower,
Conceals a balm for me.

I ask no kind return of love,
No tempting charm to please;
Far from the heart those gifts remove,
That sighs for peace and ease.

Nor ease or peace that heart can know,
That, like the needle true,
Turns at the touch of joy or woe,
But turning, trembles too.

Far as distress the soul can wound,
'Tis pain in each degree:
'Tis bliss but to a certain bound,
Beyond is agony.

Take then this treacherous sense of mine,
Which dooms me still to smart;
Which pleasure can to pain refine,
To pain new pangs impart.

Oh! haste to shed the sovereign balm,
My shattered nerves new-string;
And for my guest, serenely calm,
The nymph Indifference bring.

At her approach, see Hope, see Fear,
See Expectation fly,
With Disappointment in the rear,
That blasts the promised joy.

The tears, which pity taught to flow,
My eyes shall then disown;
The heart, that throbbed at others' woe,
Shall then scrace feel its own.

The wounds, which now each moment bleed,
Each moment then shall close,
And peaceful days shall still succeed
To nights of sweet repose.

Oh, fairy elf, but grant me this,
This one kind comfort send,
And so may never-fading bliss
Thy flowery paths attend!

So may the glow-worm's glimmering light
Thy tiny footsteps lead
To some new region of delight,
Unknown to mortal tread;

And be thy acorn goblets filled
With heaven's ambrosial dew,
From sweetness, freshest flowers distilled,
That shed fresh sweets for you.

And what of life remains for me
I'll pass in sober ease,
Half-pleased, contented will I be,
Contented, half to please.






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