Monday, August 8, 2011

Damaetas And Ida



Damaetas is a boy as rue
As ever broke maid's solitude.
He watcht the little Ida going
Where the wood-raspberries were growing,
And, under a pretence of fear
Lest they might scratch her arms, drew near,
And, plucking up a stiff grey bent,
The fruit (scarce touching it,) he sent
Into both hands: the form they took
Of a boat's keel upon a brook;
So not a raspberry fell down
To splash her foot or stain her gown.
When it was over, for his pains
She let his lips do off the stains
That were upon two fingers; he
At first kist two, and then kist three,
And, to be certain every stain
Had vanisht, kist them o'er again.
At last the boy, quite shameless, said
'See! I have taken out the red!
Now where there's redder richer fruit
Pray, my sweet Ida, let me do't.'
'Audacious creature!' she cried out,
'What in the world are you about?'
He had not taken off the red
All over; on both cheeks 'twas spred;
And the two lips that should be white
With fear, if not with fear, with spite
At such ill usage, never show'd
More comely, or more deeply glow'd.
Damaetas fancied he could move
The girl to listen to his love:
Not he indeed.

Damaetas: For pity's sake!

Ida: Go; never more come nigh this brake.

Damaetas: Must I, why must I, press in vain?

Ida: Because I hate you.

Damaetas: Think again,
Think better of it, cruel maid!

Ida: Well then . . because I am afraid.

Damaetas: Look round us: nobody is near.

Ida: All the more reason for my fear.

Damaetas: Hatred is overcome by you,
And Fear can be no match for two.

Walter Savage Landor