Friends, whom she lookt at blandly from her couch
And her white wrist above it, gem-bedewed,
Were arguing with Pentheusa: she had heard
Report of Creon's death, whom years before
She listened to, well-pleas'd; and sighs arose;
For sighs full often fondle with reproofs
And will be fondled by them. When I came
After the rest to visit her, she said,
'Myrtis! how kind! Who better knows than thou
The pangs of love? and my first love was he!'
Tell me (if ever, Eros! are reveal'd
Thy secrets to the earth) have they been true
To any love who speak about the first?
What! shall these holier lights, like twinkling stars
In the few hours assign'd them, change their place,
And, when comes ampler splendour, disappear?
Idler I am, and pardon, not reply,
Implore from thee, thus questioned; well I know
Thou strikest, like Olympian Jove, but once.
Walter Savage Landor