Lelia! with smiles, at length, behold
This net thy lover learnt to twine,
Those wand'ring, precious curls of gold
Thy graceful hand may now confine.
Around thy polish'd brow of snow,5
Safe from the rude wind's wanton play,
The bands with lustre soon shall glow
And thy soft neck's white charms display.
But ah! the violet hue we chose,
Ere yet my pleasing task is done,10
Flies faster than the summer rose,
And half its brilliant glow is gone.
My fingers press the silken chords
Injurious to their fragile pride,
And scarce the faded work rewards15
The skill so vainly misapplied.
Had'st thou preferr'd the constant shade
Of thine own eyes celestial blue,
Its charm had been awhile delay'd,
Preserv'd awhile its lovely hue.20
Or had the colour glow'd less bright,
And wore a graver, soberer charm,
The first, fresh gloss so sweet to sight
Had yet remain'd secure from harm.
And when, alas, far, far remov'd25
The hand that wove this braid for thee,
Th'unfaded gift might yet be lov'd,
And bid remembrance dwell on me.
But ah! too dazzling bright to last,
Its pride, its lustre all forgot,30
Soon from thine amorous tresses cast
Shall scorn too justly be its lot.
Ah! does thine heart the lesson feel,
And o'er our imag'd pleasures sigh?
Lament how swiftly time can steal35
Th'enchanting flush of love & joy?
The calmer bliss affection gives,
And tender friendship's gentler sway,
Possess a charm, which long survives,
When transport to neglect gives way.40