Song IX. - The fatal hours are wondrous near

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The fatal hours are wondrous near,
That from these fountains bear my dear;
A little space is given; in vain
She robs my sight, and shuns the plain.

A little space, for me to prove
My boundless flame, my endless love;
And, like the train of vulgar hours,
Invidious Time that space devours.

Near yonder beech is Delia's way,
On that I gaze the livelong day;
No eastern monarch's dazzling pride
Should draw my longing eyes aside.

The chief that knows of succours nigh,
And sees his mangled legions die,
Casts not a more impatient glance
To see the loitering aids advance.

Not more the schoolboy, that expires
Far from his native home, requires
To see some friend's familiar face,
Or meet a parent's last embrace-

She comes-but, ah! what crowds of beaus
In radiant bands my fair enclose!
Oh! better hadst thou shunn'd the green;
Oh, Delia! better far unseen.

Methinks, by all my tender fears,
By all my sighs, by all my tears,
I might from torture now be free-
'Tis more than death to part from thee!

© William Shenstone