The Captive Lover’s Epistle

Miss Flaxman

The Captive Lover’s Epistle to his Mistress by the Carrier Pigeon

Ah! what to me is spring’s return!
Or the soft smile of summer’s morn,
I, wretched captive, sit forlorn
 To mourn my fate.
Beneath my grated windows see
The garden bloom’s — but not for me
And every bird so wild and free
 Can woo his mate!

And once so gay, so free was I,
Before this heart had learned to sigh
No tear had ever dimm’d mine eye
 But pity drawn.
From sweet to sweet, from joy to joy,
I roved a happy, thoughtless boy,
My cup of bliss had no alloy
 In life’s fair dawn.

Like a young bee I gaily flew,
The loveliest blossoms met my view,
And still did I the chase renew,
 Fresh joy to prove:
While thus I passed each careless hour
Blithe o’er the meads and in the bower
I found the sweetest fairest flower!
 That flower was love!

’Twas love, dear maid, and thou wert she
Who taught me that sweet flower to see
Which in my breast still worn shall be
 So fresh and fair.
First in thy blush I saw it rise
And soon with joy and fond surprise
I found it in my fair-one’s eyes
 And hailed it there.

Haste then Elvira, dear as fair,
Haste love, thine answer to prepare
They pigeon swiftly through the air
 Will take her flight.
And o’er the mountain, o’er the sea,
A leaf of this fair flower from thee
Pledge of thy truth, thy constancy
 Shall bless my sight.