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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Georgian Verse. 1909.

The Complaint

Mark Akenside (1721–1770)

AWAY! away!

Tempt me no more, insidious love:

Thy soothing sway

Long did my youthful bosom prove:

At length thy treason is discern’d,

At length some dear-bought caution earn’d:

Away! nor hope my riper age to move.

I know, I see

Her merit. Needs it now be shown,

Alas, to me?

How often to myself unknown,

The graceful, gentle, virtuous maid

Have I admir’d! How often said,

What joy to call a heart like hers one’s own!

But, flattering God,

O squanderer of content and ease,

In thy abode

Will care’s rude lesson learn to please?

O say, deceiver, hast thou won

Proud Fortune to attend thy throne,

Or plac’d thy friends above her stern decrees?