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IRIS TO PHILUS.

1 IF slighted Iris can your pity move;
2 If slighted Iris can recall your love;
3 If e'er with joy you heard her softest vow,
4 Renew the dear idea, hear her now.
5 You once was faithful, oh the tender bliss!
6 The sweet endearment, and the thrilling kiss!
7 These witness'd once, when I, for ever true,
8 Plighted my heart, a prey to love and you;
9 And you, untainted by the vice of art,
10 Yielded to me, in solemn faith, your heart.
11 Oh say the cause, the cause I long to find,
12 You dear deceitful man, why now unkind?
13 Hath Iris for her Philus now no charms?
14 For him no pleasures in her vacant arms?
15 Methinks I see, while torture wounds my rest,
16 Methinks I see you clasping to your breast
17 Some rosy blooming maid, whose beating veins
18 Throb with soft tumults, with extatic pains,
19 While on her cheeks the deepening blushes rise,
20 And melting raptures sparkle in her eyes.
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21 Such were the joys, when I, incautious maid,
22 Too fondly trusting, was by you betray'd.
23 Such were the joys, oh, call the scene to mind!
24 When Iris yielding, all her soul resign'd.
25 Ah! then you swore (the accents now I hear,
26 Your turtles, constant, coo them to my ear)
27 That hoary Time, and joy-consuming Age,
28 The ardors of your flame should ne'er asswage.
29 But tho' unchang'd by age, or hoary time,
30 You slight my ripen'd charms, my blushing prime.
31 All fondness, once upon my breast you lay,
32 And sweetly sigh'd the hasty hours away;
33 But, ah! how chang'd my fate, forlorn I'm left,
34 Of every kindly-soothing hope bereft!
35 Whate'er was wont to court the roving eye,
36 Now swells the tear, and heaves th' unbidden sigh;
37 Where'er I turn, all Nature's charms seem fled,
38 The sun withdrawn, the sun-flower droops her head;
39 Robb'd of the prop, where once she fondly clung,
40 The faded woodbine trails the earth along;
41 Unchang'd alone the mournful yew remains,
42 And midst each varying blast its hue retains;
43 Its leaves unchang'd, my faithless swain reprove,
44 But, ah! they cannot teach him how to love!
45 If e'er for her you felt the slightest care,
46 Whose form, too often, you've pronounc'd most fair,
47 Whene'er I die, and die, ah soon I must!
48 Whene'er this body moulders into dust,
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49 This only favour at your hands I crave,
50 With mournful yews to shade my untimely grave:
51 These mournful yews shall this memorial bear,
52 Iris lov'd Philus, and she dy'd sincere.

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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): IRIS TO PHILUS.
Author: Samuel Henley
Themes: love; grief; sadness; melancholy
Genres: epistle
References: DMI 32544

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Source edition

A collection of poems in four volumes. By several hands. Vol. III. [The second edition]. London: printed for G. Pearch, 1770, pp. 36-38. 4v. ; 8⁰. (ESTC T116245; DMI 1136; OTA K093079.003)

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