A-La-Mode by Elijah Fenton

‘My better self, my heaven, my joy!
While thus imparadised I lie,
Transported in thy circling arms
With fresh variety of charms;
From Fate I scarce can think to crave
A bliss, but what in thee I have.
Twelve months, my dear, have pass’d, since thou
Didst plight to me thy virgin vow;
Twelve months in rapture spent! for they
Seem shorter than St. Lucy’s day:
A bright example we shall prove
Of lasting matrimonial love.

‘Meanwhile, I beg the gods to grant,
(The only favour that I want)
That I may not survive, to see
My happiness expire with thee.
O! should I lose my dearest dear,
By thee, and all that’s good, I swear,
I’d give myself the fatal blow,
And wait thee to the world below.’

When Wheedle thus to spouse in bed
Spoke the best things he e’er had read;
Madam, surprised, (you must suppose it)
Had lock’d a Templar in the closet;
A youth of pregnant parts, and worth,
To play at piquet, and so forth—
This wag, when he had heard the whole,
Demurely to the curtain stole,
And, peeping in, with solemn tone
Cried out, ‘O man! thy days are done-;
The gods are fearful of the worst,
And send me, Death, to fetch thee first;
To save their favourite from self-murder,
Lo! thus I execute their order.’
‘Hold, sir! for second thoughts are best,
(The husband cried): ’Tis my request,
With pleasure to prolong my life.’
‘Your meaning ?’—‘Pray, sir, take my wife.’

From: Pomfret, John and Fenton, Elijah, The Poems of Pomfret and Fenton. British Poets. Including Translations. In One Hundred Volumes. Volume XXIX, 1822, C. Whittingham: Chiswick, pp. 224-25.

Date: 1707

By: Elijah Fenton (1683-1730)


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