Written at the Request of a Gentleman to Whom a Lady Had Given a Sprig of Myrtle

What hopes - what terrors does this gift create?
Ambiguous emblem of uncertain fate.
The myrtle (ensign of supreme command
Consign'd to Venus by Melissa's hand),
Not less capricious than a reigning fair,
Oft favours, oft rejects a lover's prayer.
In myrtle shades despairing ghosts complain:
The myrtle crowns the happy lover's heads,
The unhappy lovers' graves the myrtle spreads.
Oh! then the meaning of thy gift impart,
And ease the throbbings of an anxious heart:
Soon must this sprig, as you shall fix its doom,
Adorn Philander's head, or grace his tomb.

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Samuel Johnson

The Reverend Doctor Samuel Johnson was a clergyman, educator, and philosopher in colonial British North America. more…

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"Written at the Request of a Gentleman to Whom a Lady Had Given a Sprig of Myrtle" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 1 Jun 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/34214/written-at-the-request-of-a-gentleman-to-whom-a-lady-had-given-a-sprig-of-myrtle>.

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