Written for Music at the Request of a Lady
Oh why when poets strike the lyre,
Does love alone their lays inspire,
Why not of worth or valour sing,
And wake to nobler themes the string.
Ye say in these degenerate days
No valiant hero claims your praise,
If so take to yourself the shame,
For know the hero fights for fame.
That fame the generous Muse must give,
And bid his worth thro’ ages live
Fresh deeds from emulation spring,
For heroes fight when poets sing.
Oh who usurping Donald’s name,
Thus dares asperse Amanda’s beauty,
And bids him vindicate her fame,
By all the powers of love and duty.
No nymph unknown I fondly wooed,
To no ungrateful maiden sued,
But one in early life who proved
My constant friend, companion gay,
And still as roll the years away
The longer known, the more beloved.
To no ideal charms a prey,
For no disdainful damsel sighing,
I dream the previous hours away,
And waste those days, forever flying.
But as upon Amanda’s face,
With ardent love I fondly gaze,
And there behold each virtue shine,
Reflected in her speaking eye.
To emulate that worth I try,
And wish to make the model mine.