1783 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Mary Robinson

Anonymous, "A Dialogue between Florizel and Perdita" General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer (28 January 1783).



FLORIZEL.
When I possess'd your willing heart,
Where none could claim a better part,
I fondly touch'd that snowy breast,
And Florizel was truly blest.

PERDITA.
While me you lov'd with equal flame,
And Mira's charms were not your theme,
I own'd thee sovereign of my heart,
And fondly thought we ne'er should part.

FLORIZEL.
Undeck'd by art, unorb'd by care,
Mira fairest of the Fair,
For her I would my life resign,
If Fate would spare her life for mine.

PERDITA.
Yon SOLDIER see, of fierce desire,
Whose bosom glows with martial fire;
For him a double death I'd bear,
If Fate would spare her life for mine.

FLORIZEL.
And is he then thy favour'd mate;
For him dost thou all others hate?
The Sword, the Helmet, and the Shield
I find have made Perdita yield.

PERDITA.
Hadst thou been true, there was not one
On earth I'd love, but thee alone:
No tales of war (the soldier's spell)
Had made me leave my Florizel.

FLORIZEL.
Dost thou repent as I repine,
And with thy love still join'd to mine?
Or art thou fix'd and rooted THERE?
Ah! No — I see the starting tear.

PERDITA.
As murmuring streams express their woe,
To part the source from whence they flow;
So are the plaints of love to me,
Since, Florizel, I quitted thee.

FLORIZEL.
What, if our love return again,
And join us in its silken chain!
If fairer Mira be forsook,
And Perdita in favour took!

PERDITA.
My soldier is both kind and true;
But him I never lov'd like you:
So come, sweet youth, I yield these charms—
I'll live and die but in thy arms.