Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
Arouet to Amanda
By Joseph Brown Ladd (1764–1786)
ONCE more, dear maid, the wretched Arouet writes;
His pen obedient, as his heart indites;
These lines may haply waste your precious time,
And his loathed writings may be deem’d a crime.
Thou say’st that friendship can afford a cure        5
To the deep wounds, the sorrows I endure;
The generous thought with rapture I pursue—
It must be lovely, for it comes from you.
But O how poor is friendship to express
“The soul-felt pang of exquisite distress.”        10
Once I was happy—blest with native ease,
A friend could cheer me, and a book could please;
But now no joys from books or friendship flow,
Not one poor respite to my load of wo.
Did not you, dearest, see my fond distress,        15
Beyond all power of language to express?
The whirling thought, the swift impassion’d kiss,
Delirium sweet and agony of bliss.
How have I listen’d when your accents broke,
And kiss’d the air that trembled as you spoke.        20
Death, friendly Death will soon relieve my pain,
Long sure he cannot be implored in vain.
When to my sight the monarch of the tomb
Shall rise terrific and pronounce my doom;
Will then Amanda, ah! she will, I trust,        25
Pay the last tribute to my clay-cold dust:
Will sighing say, here his last scene is o’er,
Who loved as mortal never loved before.
Dear, matchless maid! that kind concern display’d,
Would sweetly soothe my melancholy shade.        30
O’er my lone tomb O yield that sad relief;
Breathe the soft sigh and pour out all your grief;
Or shed one tear in pity as you pass,
And just remember that your Arouet was.

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