II. Si qua recordanti &c

Si qua recordanti &c [1] 

If aught of conscious worth the soul can cheer,
Or wasted faith, or truth in vain sincere,
Or purest sentiments unstained by art
May with remembrance sooth the injured heart,
Then much, tho' love be lost, to thee remains,5
To heal with past delights thy present pains;
For thou, abandoned though thou art, canst claim
That self-applause which flies from guile, or blame,
And all that fond affection could perform
This hast thou done, from hopes most pure, most warm.10
All, all to perish, squandered on a heart
Which thankless owns no sympathising part;
Wherefore then idly thus consume thy soul?
Rouse thee at length, thy weak regrets control,
Collect thy strength, bid reason bring relief,15
And spite of fate itself dismiss thy grief.
'Tis hard, long cherished feelings to repel,
And each loved image from the heart expel,
But yet this must be done, fulfil the task,
Nor seek evasion, nor a respite ask:20
One only part remains, one last resource
For this exert thy soul's extremest force,
Yet this last effort make, deferred too long
And powerless as thou art, for once be strong.
Oh! sweetest Heaven, if mercy be thy boast,25
If still it love to save the wretch most lost,
Look on me now! in pity bid me rest,
Tear this consuming mischief from my breast,
These torturing pangs which inwardly destroy
Blast every hope, and poison every joy.30
I ask not love -- no more my idle prayers,
Invoke a bliss of which my soul despairs,
I ask not Heaven with purely, constant fire
That cold and faithless bosom to inspire,
My own relief is all I now implore,35
This suffering soul at last to health restore;
From these indignant pangs in mercy save,
And steep my anguish in oblivion's wave.


[1] EDITOR'S NOTE: "If aught of conscious worth the soul can cheer" does not appear in Psyche, with Other Poems or Mary (or Collected Poems and Journals) and is undated in Verses. It presents a verse translation of Catullus's 26-line Carmina poem 76 (“If a man can take any pleasure in recalling the thought of kindnesses done,” Francis Cornish translation):

Si qua recordanti benefacta priora voluptas
est homini, cum se cogitat esse pium,
nec sanctam violasse fidem, nec foedere in ullo
divum ad fallendos numine abusum homines,
multa parata manent in longa aetate, Catulle,5
ex hoc ingrato gaudia amore tibi.
nam quaecumque homines bene cuiquam aut dicere possunt
aut facere, haec a te dictaque factaque sunt:
omnia quae ingratae perierunt credita menti.
quare cur tu te iam amplius excrucies?10
quin tu animo offirmas atque istinc teque reducis
et dis invitis desinis esse miser?
difficile est longum subito deponere amorem;
difficile est, verum hoc qua libet efficias.
una salus haec est, hoc est tibi pervincendum;15
hoc facias, sive id non pote sive pote.
o di, si vestrum est misereri, aut si quibus unquam
extremam iam ipsa in morte tulistis opem,
me miserum adspicite et, si vitam puriter egi,
eripite hanc pestem perniciemque mihi!20
hei mihi subrepens imos ut torpor in artus
expulit ex omni pectore laetitias.
non iam illud quaero, contra ut me diligat illa,
aut, quod non potis est, esse pudica velit:
ipse valere opto et taetrum hunc deponere morbum.25
o di, reddite mi hoc pro pietate mea.