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Yet give me, give me, ere I go,
One little lock of those so blest,
That lend your cheek a warmer glow,
And on your white neck love to rest.
-Say, when to kindle soft delight,
That hand has chanc'd with mine to meet,
How could its thrilling touch excite
A sigh so short, and yet so sweet?
O say—but no, it must not be.
Adieu, enchanting girl, adieu!
- Yet still, methinks, you frown on me;
Or never could I fly from you.
Yes, 'tis the pulse of life! my fears were vain!
I wake, I breathe, and am myself again.
* After a Tragedy, performed for her benefit, at the Theatre. Royal in Drury-lane, April 27, 1795.
Still in this nether world; no seraph yet!
Nor walks my spirit, when the sun is set,
With troubled step to haunt the fatal board,
Where I died last-by poison or the sword;
Blanching each honest cheek with deeds of night,
Done here so oft by dim and doubtful light.
-To drop all metaphor, that little bell
Call'd back reality, and broke the spell.
No heroine claims your tears with tragic tone;
A very woman-scarce restrains her own!
Can she, with fiction, charm the cheated mind,
When to be grateful is the part assign'd?
Ah, No! she scorns the trappings of her Art;
No theme but truth, no prompter but the heart!
But, Ladies, say, must I alone unmask?
Is here no other actress ? let me ask.
Believe me, those, who best the heart dissect,
Know every Woman studies stage-effect.
She moulds her manners to the part she fills,
As Instinct teaches, or as Humour wills;
And, as the grave or gay her talent calls,
Acts in the drama, till the curtain falls.
First, how her little breast with triumph swells,
When the red coral rings its silver bells!
To play in pantomime is then the rage,
Along the carpet's many-colour'd stage;
Or lisp her merry thoughts with loud endeavour,
Now here, now there,-in noise and mischief ever!
A school-girl next, she curls her hair in papers,
And mimics father's gout, and mother's vapours;
Discards her doll, bribes Betty for romances;
Playful at church, and serious when she dances;