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CLII

QUIA AMORE LANGUEO

You holy Virgins, that so oft surround

The city's sapphire walls; whose snowy feet

Measure the pearly paths of sacred ground,

And trace the New Jerusalem's jasper street;

Ah, you whose care-forsaken hearts are crown'd

With your best wishes; that enjoy the sweet

Of all your hopes; if e'er you chance to spy

My absent Love, O tell Him that I lie

Deep-wounded with the flames that furnaced from His eye.

I charge you, Virgins, as you hope to hear

The heavenly music of your Lover's voice;

I charge you by the solemn faith ye bear

To plighted vows, and to that loyal choice

Of your affections; or, if aught more dear

You hold; by Hymen; by your marriage-joys;

I charge you tell Him, that a flaming dart,

Shot from His eye, hath pierced my bleeding heart;

And I am sick of love, and languish in my smart.

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Tell Him, O tell Him, how my panting breast

Is scorch'd with flames, and how my soul is pined;

Tell Him, O tell Him, how I lie opprest

With the full torments of a troubled mind;

O tell Him, tell Him, that He loves in jest,

But I in earnest; tell Him, He's unkind:

But if a discontented frown appears

Upon His angry brow, accost His ears

With soft and fewer words, and act the rest in tears.

O, tell Him, that His cruelties deprive

My soul of peace, while peace in vain she seeks;

Tell Him those damask roses, that did strive

With white, both fade, upon my sallow cheeks;

Tell Him, no token doth proclaim I live,

But tears, and sighs, and sobs, and sudden shrieks;

Thus if your piercing words should chance to bore

His harkening ear, and move a sigh, give o'er

To speak; and tell Him,--Tell Him that I could no more.

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