Archive for December 17th, 2014

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

To My Rival by Mary Villiers Stewart (Ephelia)

Since you dare Brave me, with a Rival’s Name,
You shall prevail, and I will quit my Claim:
For know, proud Maid, I Scorn to call him mine,
Whom thou durst ever hope to have made thine:
Yet I confess, I loved him once so well,
His presence was my Heav’n, his absence Hell:
With gen’rous excellence I filled his Breast,
And in sweet Beauteous Forms his Person dressed;
For him I did Heaven, and its Pow’r despise,
And only lived by th’Influence of his Eyes:
I feared not Rivals, for I thought that he
That was possessed of such a Prize as me,
All meaner Objects would Contemn, and Slight,
Nor let an abject thing Usurp my Right:
But when I heard he was so wretched Base
To pay devotion to thy wrinkled Face
I Banished him my sight, and told the Slave,
He had no Worth, but what my Fancy gave:
‘Twas I that raised him to this Glorious State,
And can as easily Annihilate:
But let him live, Branded with Guilt, and Shame,
And Shrink into the Shade from whence he came;
His Punishment shall be, the Loss of Me,
And be Augmented, by his gaining Thee.

From: Ephelia, Female Poems on Several Occasions, 1996, Montana State University: Bozeman, Montana, pp. 22-23.

Date: 1679

By: Mary Villiers Stewart (Ephelia) (1622-1685)