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ANONYMOUS – When night her purple veil has softly spread


When night her purple veil has softly spread,

And busy men assembled with the dead,

When all is hush’d, but zephyr’s gentle breath,

Which cools the air, perfuming all the earth,

With silent wings thro’ murmuring forests flies,

Spreading the sweets which from the woodbine rise,

With hasty steps and a wild, thoughtful air,

Heedless of danger, guided by despair,

The lovely damon strivest in the thickest shades to mix,

On whom all graces do, and all desires would fix.

While night he seeks, new day he seems to bring,

For blooming youth has light in ev’rything.

He sighs, now weep, then with a just dedain

Reproaches her he loves, alas! In vain;

The senseless nymph does on a satyr dote,

Despising damon, couples with a goat.

Under a mossy oak he thus began,

Which, bending, seem’d to listen as he sang:

“Ah Silvia, ah, unkind, ah! cruel fair,

To him so gentle, to me severe,

Sweeter than the flow’ry Spring,

Than the dew which bees do bring

From op’ning buds with careful wing,

Which when I strive to taste, like them you sting.