Verse > Anthologies > J. C. Squire, ed. > A Book of Women’s Verse
J. C. Squire, ed.  A Book of Women’s Verse.  1921.
My Fate
By ‘Ephelia’ (17th Cent.?)
OH cruel Fate, when wilt thou weary be?
When satisfied with tormenting me?
What have I e’er designed, but thou hast crost?
All that I wished to gain by thee, I’ve lost:
From my first infancy, thy spite thou’st shown        5
And from my cradle, I’ve thy malice known;
Thou snatch’st my parents in their tender age,
Made me a victim to the furious rage
Of cruel fortune, as severe as thee;
Yet I resolved to brave my destiny,        10
And did, with more than female constancy.
Not all thy malice could extort a tear,
Nor all thy rage could ever teach me fear:
Still as thy power diminished my estate
My fortitude did my desires abate,        15
In every state I did my mind content
And nicely did thy cross designs prevent;
Seeing thy plots did unsuccessful prove,
As a sure torment next, thou taught’st me love:
But here thou wert deceived too, for my swain,        20
As soon as he perceived, pitied my pain:
He met my passion with an equal fire,
Both sweetly languished in a soft desire:
Clasped in each other’s arms we sat all day,
Each smile I gave he’d with a kiss repay:        25
In every hour an age’s bliss we reaped,
And lavish favours on each other heaped.
Now sure (thought I) destiny doth relent,
And her insatiate tyranny repent:
But how mistaken! how deceived was I!        30
Alas! she only raised my hopes thus high,
To cast me down with greater violence;
For midst our joys, she snatched my shepherd hence
To Africa: yet though I was neglected,
I bore it better than could be expected:        35
Without regret I let him cross the sea,
When I was told it for his good would be,
But when I heard the nuptial knot he’d tied,
And made an Africk nymph his happy bride:
My temper then I could no longer hold,        40
I cursed my fate, I cursed the power of gold,
I cursed the easiness believed at first,
And (Heaven forgive me) Him I almost cursed.
Hearing my loss, to him was mighty gain;
I checked my rage, and soon grew calm again:        45
Malicious Fate, seeing this would not do,
Made Strephon wretched, to make me so too.
Of all her plagues, this was the weightiest stroke,
This blow my resolved heart hath almost broke:
Yet, spite of Fate, this comfort I’ve in store,        50
She’s no room left for any ill thing more.

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