Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. III. Addison to Blake
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. III. The Eighteenth Century: Addison to Blake
The Despairing Lover
By William Walsh (1663–1708)
DISTRACTED with care
For Phyllis the fair,
Since nothing could move her,
Poor Damon, her lover,
Resolves in despair        5
  No longer to languish,
  Nor bear so much anguish,
But, mad with his love,
  To a precipice goes,
Where a leap from above        10
  Would finish his woes.
When in rage he came there,
  Beholding how steep
The sides did appear,
  And the bottom how deep,        15
His torments projecting,
And sadly reflecting
That a lover forsaken
  A new love may get,
But a neck when once broken        20
  Can never be set,
And, that he could die
  Whenever he would,
Whereas he could live
  But as long as he could,        25
How grievous soever
  The torment might grow,
He scorned to endeavour
  To finish it so,
But, bold, unconcerned        30
  At thoughts of the pain,
He calmly returned
  To his cottage again.

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