Passion Uninspired by Sentiment by Charlotte King Byrne Dacre (Rosa Matilda)

Addressed to him who denied their existing together.

Oh! Passion, seducer of heart and of soul!
Thou transport tyrannic! half pleasure, half pain!
Why consum’st thou the breast with such madd’ning controul?
Fly quickly–yet, ah! come as quickly again.

Without thee, what’s life but a wilderness drear,
Or a chill, gloomy vale, where stern apathy reigns?
Like Phoebus, thy vivid refulgence can cheer,
And brighten, in rapture, e’en Memory’s pains.

When pleasure seduces the wild throbbing heart
In moments ecstatic of tender excess,
When Fancy refines, and when Passion takes part,
The lover existence too fondly may bless.

Yet Passion alone, to the delicate mind,
Aspires not a simple sensation above;
Unless sentiment yield it an ardour refin’d,
It degrades, not ennobles the essence of love.

From: Dacre, Charlotte (Rosa Matilda), Hours of Solitude. A Collection of Original Poems, Now First Published in Two Volumes, Volume I, 1805, Hughes: London, pp. 19-20.

Date: c1786

By: Charlotte King Byrne Dacre (Rosa Matilda) (c1771-1825)


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