Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, LOVE AND COQUETRY, by LEVI BISHOP

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

LOVE AND COQUETRY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: That tender passion! From its birth
Last Line: One only source -- 'tis all divine.
Subject(s): Hearts; Love; May (month); Passion

That tender passion! from its birth
So light and restless, like the leaf
In summer breeze; -- so full of mirth
And ever glowing fancy, chief
Among the first, all know its name --
A spark, a flash of heavenly flame!

A flame that nestles in the heart;
That seems a self-ignited fire;
That scorns deceit and every art,
And every foe that may conspire;
True love! -- a furnace heated well,
A passion language cannot tell.

It springs at times, like opening flower,
Like magnet trembles to its pole;
It bursts, at times, like evening shower,
And wildly rushes to the goal;
And yet, if e'er so quick or slow,
Effect the same -- the flush, the glow.

Like softest ray of rising moon,
It steals into the tender heart;
Like melting beam of sun at noon,
It quickly shoots through every part;
Yet airy trifles drive it thence,
As chilling drops will steam condense.

But is it not a silly freak,
An impulse of the passing hour;
A gush of feeling, fancy streak,
A sudden sweet, as quickly sour;
A flitting meteor in the air,
That leaves no traces printed there?

And who can tell if love, in truth,
Is basking in that heart sincere?
As thickly swarm those flattering youth,
Must not the coquette then be near; --
To smile at one and smile at all,
Like smiling portrait on the wall?

It may be so; the social state,
Suggests at times deceitful air;
And who politeness will berate,
Although deceit be lurking there?
Or who, if part be acted well,
Can coquette from the lover tell?

Affection true, is often blind;
And, let it never be forgot,
At times the heart, when truly kind,
Would rather be deceived than not;
Thus pride is soothed and self-esteem,
By empty sighs that real seem.

The sources of the mountain stream
That oozy lurk among the bogs,
Where strongest might of solar beam
A contest wages with the fogs,
In doubt if bog, or mud, or lake,
Or stream, at last predominate; --

In silver thread at last are found,
With murm'ring accents creeping slow,
Then rushing on with many a bound
Into the circling pool below,
Bright as the crystals of its bed,
Or as the rainbow o'er its head:

So love at first in maze obscure
The labyrinth of the heart may trace,
Nor feel its own existence sure,
And doubtful of a resting place;
Not knowing even what to say
To a proposal, yea or nay; --

But soon the current clear and strong
Of purest love is fully seen,
It swiftly bears the soul along
Through flowery meads of living green;
The crimson blush, the earnest stare,
Are proof conclusive love is there.

Two rivers on the mountain side,
In giddy turbulence may dash
From ledge to ledge in foaming tide,
And sparkle in the sunlight flash;
And yet, before their race is run
They calmly may unite in one:

So love, in wild, ecstatic glee.
May babble like the mountain brook;
Wring sighs from burning jealousy,
And daggers from the rival's look;
Yet truthful, loving hearts will tend
In one to mingle at the end.

The sweetest rose of blooming May,
That blushes at the sunbeam's kiss,
That showers its perfumes o'er the way,
And makes a heavenly world of this;
That in the evening's cooling shade
With zephyrs dances masquerade; --

To her sweet charms must ever yield,
Whose blooming tints, at bright eighteen,
And flashing eyes are sword and shield;
Who, to be loved need but be seen;
Whose guileless heart with love does burn,
Who loves and is beloved in turn.

As undulations of the lake,
Obedient unto nature's laws,
When pebbles thrown, the surface break,
Will circle round the central cause;
And even when the cause is spent,
Will still obey the impulse lent; --

So waves of pure affection roll --
As free from guile as free from art --
With first vibration in the soul,
In circles round the human heart:
O, whence the impulse -- all benign?
One only source -- 'tis all divine.

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