1789 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Alexander Pope

Elizabeth Hands, "On Reading Pope's Eloiza to Abelard" Hands, The Death of Amnon. A Poem (1789) 114.



Sure, hapless Fair, no hearts can ever know,
But banish'd lovers, banish'd lovers' woe!
Ah! Eloiza, ever exil'd maid,
I read thy sorrows, sorrowing as I read:
My sympathetic heart now shares thy grief,
Repeats thy sighs, and wishes thy relief:
But when I hear thee unrelenting boast
Thy tainted virtue, and thy honour lost,
All sense of pity in my bosom dies,
And direful tumults of reproaches rise:
No passions soft, or sadly-pleasing pain,
But rage and madness in thy bosom reign;
Ah! must thy Abelard exalted be,
Above the Maker of himself and thee!
And darest thou thus explode the wedded dame,
Disclaim her virtues, and disdain her fame:
Blush, Eloiza, at a thought so vain,
Thy face with crimson let confusion stain;
And while thy bosom glows with guilty fire,
Let every hope of happiness expire;
But if again thou would'st my pity move,
Lament at once thy honour and thy love.