Eloisa To Abelard Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


In these deep solitudes and awful cellsA
Where heav'nly pensive contemplation dwellsA
And ever musing melancholy reignsB
What means this tumult in a vestal's veinsB
Why rove my thoughts beyond this last retreatC
Why feels my heart its long forgotten heatC
Yet yet I love From Abelard it cameD
And Eloisa yet must kiss the nameD
Dear fatal name rest ever unreveal'dC
Nor pass these lips in holy silence seal'dC
Hide it my heart within that close disguiseE
Where mix'd with God's his lov'd idea liesE
O write it not my hand the name appearsF
Already written wash it out my tearsG
In vain lost Eloisa weeps and praysH
Her heart still dictates and her hand obeysH
Relentless walls whose darksome round containsB
Repentant sighs and voluntary painsB
Ye rugged rocks which holy knees have wornI
Ye grots and caverns shagg'd with horrid thornI
Shrines where their vigils pale ey'd virgins keepJ
And pitying saints whose statues learn to weepJ
Though cold like you unmov'd and silent grownK
I have not yet forgot myself to stoneK
All is not Heav'n's while Abelard has partC
Still rebel nature holds out half my heartC
Nor pray'rs nor fasts its stubborn pulse restrainL
Nor tears for ages taught to flow in vainL
Soon as thy letters trembling I uncloseB
That well known name awakens all my woesB
Oh name for ever sad for ever dearM
Still breath'd in sighs still usher'd with a tearN
I tremble too where'er my own I findC
Some dire misfortune follows close behindC
Line after line my gushing eyes o'erflowO
Led through a sad variety of woeP
Now warm in love now with'ring in thy bloomQ
Lost in a convent's solitary gloomQ
There stern religion quench'd th' unwilling flameD
There died the best of passions love and fameD
Yet write oh write me all that I may joinR
Griefs to thy griefs and echo sighs to thineS
Nor foes nor fortune take this pow'r awayT
And is my Abelard less kind than theyT
Tears still are mine and those I need not spareN
Love but demands what else were shed in pray'rU
No happier task these faded eyes pursueB
To read and weep is all they now can doB
Then share thy pain allow that sad reliefV
Ah more than share it give me all thy griefV
Heav'n first taught letters for some wretch's aidC
Some banish'd lover or some captive maidC
They live they speak they breathe what love inspiresB
Warm from the soul and faithful to its firesB
The virgin's wish without her fears impartC
Excuse the blush and pour out all the heartC
Speed the soft intercourse from soul to soulO
And waft a sigh from Indus to the PoleO
Thou know'st how guiltless first I met thy flameD
When Love approach'd me under Friendship's nameD
My fancy form'd thee of angelic kindC
Some emanation of th' all beauteous MindC
Those smiling eyes attemp'ring ev'ry dayT
Shone sweetly lambent with celestial dayT
Guiltless I gaz'd heav'n listen'd while you sungW
And truths divine came mended from that tongueW
From lips like those what precept fail'd to moveX
Too soon they taught me 'twas no sin to loveY
Back through the paths of pleasing sense I ranZ
Nor wish'd an Angel whom I lov'd a ManZ
Dim and remote the joys of saints I seeB
Nor envy them that heav'n I lose for theeB
How oft when press'd to marriage have I saidC
Curse on all laws but those which love has madeC
Love free as air at sight of human tiesB
Spreads his light wings and in a moment fliesB
Let wealth let honour wait the wedded dameD
August her deed and sacred be her fameD
Before true passion all those views removeX
Fame wealth and honour what are you to LoveY
The jealous God when we profane his firesB
Those restless passions in revenge inspiresB
And bids them make mistaken mortals groanK
Who seek in love for aught but love aloneK
Should at my feet the world's great master fallO
Himself his throne his world I'd scorn 'em allO
Not Caesar's empress would I deign to proveX
No make me mistress to the man I loveY
If there be yet another name more freeB
More fond than mistress make me that to theeB
Oh happy state when souls each other drawA2
When love is liberty and nature lawA2
All then is full possessing and possess'dC
No craving void left aching in the breastC
Ev'n thought meets thought ere from the lips it partC
And each warm wish springs mutual from the heartC
This sure is bliss if bliss on earth there beB
And once the lot of Abelard and meB
Alas how chang'd what sudden horrors riseB
A naked lover bound and bleeding liesB
Where where was Eloise her voice her handC
Her poniard had oppos'd the dire commandC
Barbarian stay that bloody stroke restrainL
The crime was common common be the painL
I can no more by shame by rage suppress'dC
Let tears and burning blushes speak the restC
Canst thou forget that sad that solemn dayT
When victims at yon altar's foot we layT
Canst thou forget what tears that moment fellO
When warm in youth I bade the world farewellO
As with cold lips I kiss'd the sacred veilO
The shrines all trembl'd and the lamps grew paleO
Heav'n scarce believ'd the conquest it survey'dC
And saints with wonder heard the vows I madeC
Yet then to those dread altars as I drewB
Not on the Cross my eyes were fix'd but youB
Not grace or zeal love only was my callO
And if I lose thy love I lose my allO
Come with thy looks thy words relieve my woeP
Those still at least are left thee to bestowP
Still on that breast enamour'd let me lieO
Still drink delicious poison from thy eyeO
Pant on thy lip and to thy heart be press'dC
Give all thou canst and let me dream the restC
Ah no instruct me other joys to prizeB
With other beauties charm my partial eyesB
Full in my view set all the bright abodeC
And make my soul quit Abelard for GodC
Ah think at least thy flock deserves thy careN
Plants of thy hand and children of thy pray'rU
From the false world in early youth they fledC
By thee to mountains wilds and deserts ledC
You rais'd these hallow'd walls the desert smil'dC
And Paradise was open'd in the wildC
No weeping orphan saw his father's storesB
Our shrines irradiate or emblaze the floorsB
No silver saints by dying misers giv'nL
Here brib'd the rage of ill requited heav'nL
But such plain roofs as piety could raiseB
And only vocal with the Maker's praiseB
In these lone walls their days eternal boundC
These moss grown domes with spiry turrets crown'dC
Where awful arches make a noonday nightC
And the dim windows shed a solemn lightC
Thy eyes diffus'd a reconciling rayT
And gleams of glory brighten'd all the dayT
But now no face divine contentment wearsB
'Tis all blank sadness or continual tearsB
See how the force of others' pray'rs I tryO
O pious fraud of am'rous charityB
But why should I on others' pray'rs dependC
Come thou my father brother husband friendC
Ah let thy handmaid sister daughter moveX
And all those tender names in one thy loveY
The darksome pines that o'er yon rocks reclin'dC
Wave high and murmur to the hollow windC
The wand'ring streams that shine between the hillsB
The grots that echo to the tinkling rillsB
The dying gales that pant upon the treesB
The lakes that quiver to the curling breezeB
No more these scenes my meditation aidC
Or lull to rest the visionary maidC
But o'er the twilight groves and dusky cavesB
Long sounding aisles and intermingled gravesB
Black Melancholy sits and round her throwsB
A death like silence and a dread reposeB
Her gloomy presence saddens all the sceneL
Shades ev'ry flow'r and darkens ev'ry greenL
Deepens the murmur of the falling floodsB
And breathes a browner horror on the woodsB
Yet here for ever ever must I stayT
Sad proof how well a lover can obeyT
Death only death can break the lasting chainL
And here ev'n then shall my cold dust remainL
Here all its frailties all its flames resignL
And wait till 'tis no sin to mix with thineL
Ah wretch believ'd the spouse of God in vainL
Confess'd within the slave of love and manL
Assist me Heav'n but whence arose that pray'rU
Sprung it from piety or from despairN
Ev'n here where frozen chastity retiresB
Love finds an altar for forbidden firesB
I ought to grieve but cannot what I oughtC
I mourn the lover not lament the faultC
I view my crime but kindle at the viewB
Repent old pleasures and solicit newB
Now turn'd to Heav'n I weep my past offenceB
Now think of thee and curse my innocenceB
Of all affliction taught a lover yetC
'Tis sure the hardest science to forgetC
How shall I lose the sin yet keep the senseB
And love th' offender yet detest th' offenceB
How the dear object from the crime removeX
Or how distinguish penitence from loveY
Unequal task a passion to resignL
For hearts so touch'd so pierc'd so lost as mineL
Ere such a soul regains its peaceful stateC
How often must it love how often hateC
How often hope despair resent regretC
Conceal disdain do all things but forgetC
But let Heav'n seize it all at once 'tis fir'dC
Not touch'd but rapt not waken'd but inspir'dC
Oh come oh teach me nature to subdueB
Renounce my love my life myself and youB
Fill my fond heart with God alone for heB
Alone can rival can succeed to theeB
How happy is the blameless vestal's lotC
The world forgetting by the world forgotC
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mindC
Each pray'r accepted and each wish resign'dC
Labour and rest that equal periods keepJ
Obedient slumbers that can wake and weepJ
Desires compos'd affections ever ev'nL
Tears that delight and sighs that waft to Heav'nL
Grace shines around her with serenest beamsB
And whisp'ring angels prompt her golden dreamsB
For her th' unfading rose of Eden bloomsB
And wings of seraphs shed divine perfumesB
For her the Spouse prepares the bridal ringB2
For her white virgins hymeneals singB2
To sounds of heav'nly harps she dies awayT
And melts in visions of eternal dayT
Far other dreams my erring soul employO
Far other raptures of unholy joyO
When at the close of each sad sorrowing dayT
Fancy restores what vengeance snatch'd awayT
Then conscience sleeps and leaving nature freeB
All my loose soul unbounded springs to theeB
Oh curs'd dear horrors of all conscious nightC
How glowing guilt exalts the keen delightC
Provoking Daemons all restraint removeX
And stir within me every source of loveY
I hear thee view thee gaze o'er all thy charmsB
And round thy phantom glue my clasping armsB
I wake no more I hear no more I viewB
The phantom flies me as unkind as youB
I call aloud it hears not what I sayT
I stretch my empty arms it glides awayT
To dream once more I close my willing eyesB
Ye soft illusions dear deceits ariseB
Alas no more methinks we wand'ring goP
Through dreary wastes and weep each other's woeP
Where round some mould'ring tower pale ivy creepsB
And low brow'd rocks hang nodding o'er the deepsB
Sudden you mount you beckon from the skiesB
Clouds interpose waves roar and winds ariseB
I shriek start up the same sad prospect findC
And wake to all the griefs I left behindC
For thee the fates severely kind ordainL
A cool suspense from pleasure and from painL
Thy life a long dead calm of fix'd reposeB
No pulse that riots and no blood that glowsB
Still as the sea ere winds were taught to blowP
Or moving spirit bade the waters flowP
Soft as the slumbers of a saint forgiv'nL
And mild as opening gleams of promis'd heav'nL
Come Abelard for what hast thou to dreadC
The torch of Venus burns not for the deadC
Nature stands check'd Religion disapprovesB
Ev'n thou art cold yet Eloisa lovesB
Ah hopeless lasting flames like those that burnL
To light the dead and warm th' unfruitful urnL
What scenes appear where'er I turn my viewB
The dear ideas where I fly pursueB
Rise in the grove before the altar riseB
Stain all my soul and wanton in my eyesB
I waste the matin lamp in sighs for theeB
Thy image steals between my God and meB
Thy voice I seem in ev'ry hymn to hearC2
With ev'ry bead I drop too soft a tearN
When from the censer clouds of fragrance rollO
And swelling organs lift the rising soulO
One thought of thee puts all the pomp to flightC
Priests tapers temples swim before my sightC
In seas of flame my plunging soul is drown'dC
While altars blaze and angels tremble roundC
While prostrate here in humble grief I lieO
Kind virtuous drops just gath'ring in my eyeO
While praying trembling in the dust I rollO
And dawning grace is op'ning on my soulO
Come if thou dar'st all charming as thou artC
Oppose thyself to Heav'n dispute my heartC
Come with one glance of those deluding eyesB
Blot out each bright idea of the skiesB
Take back that grace those sorrows and those tearsB
Take back my fruitless penitence and pray'rsB
Snatch me just mounting from the blest abodeC
Assist the fiends and tear me from my GodC
No fly me fly me far as pole from poleO
Rise Alps between us and whole oceans rollO
Ah come not write not think not once of meB
Nor share one pang of all I felt for theeB
Thy oaths I quit thy memory resignL
Forget renounce me hate whate'er was mineL
Fair eyes and tempting looks which yet I viewB
Long lov'd ador'd ideas all adieuB
Oh Grace serene oh virtue heav'nly fairN
Divine oblivion of low thoughted careN
Fresh blooming hope gay daughter of the skyO
And faith our early immortalityB
Enter each mild each amicable guestC
Receive and wrap me in eternal restC
See in her cell sad Eloisa spreadC
Propp'd on some tomb a neighbour of the deadC
In each low wind methinks a spirit callsB
And more than echoes talk along the wallsB
Here as I watch'd the dying lamps aroundC
From yonder shrine I heard a hollow soundC
Come sister come it said or seem'd to sayB
Thy place is here sad sister come awayB
Once like thyself I trembled wept and pray'dC
Love's victim then though now a sainted maidC
But all is calm in this eternal sleepJ
Here grief forgets to groan and love to weepJ
Ev'n superstition loses ev'ry fearM
For God not man absolves our frailties hereC2
I come I come prepare your roseate bow'rsB
Celestial palms and ever blooming flow'rsB
Thither where sinners may have rest I goP
Where flames refin'd in breasts seraphic glowP
Thou Abelard the last sad office payB
And smooth my passage to the realms of dayB
See my lips tremble and my eye balls rollO
Suck my last breath and catch my flying soulO
Ah no in sacred vestments may'st thou standC
The hallow'd taper trembling in thy handC
Present the cross before my lifted eyeO
Teach me at once and learn of me to dieO
Ah then thy once lov'd Eloisa seeB
It will be then no crime to gaze on meB
See from my cheek the transient roses flyO
See the last sparkle languish in my eyeO
Till ev'ry motion pulse and breath be o'erD2
And ev'n my Abelard be lov'd no moreE2
O Death all eloquent you only proveX
What dust we dote on when 'tis man we loveY
Then too when fate shall thy fair frame destroyO
That cause of all my guilt and all my joyO
In trance ecstatic may thy pangs be drown'dC
Bright clouds descend and angels watch thee roundC
From op'ning skies may streaming glories shineL
And saints embrace thee with a love like mineL
May one kind grave unite each hapless nameD
And graft my love immortal on thy fameD
Then ages hence when all my woes are o'erD2
When this rebellious heart shall beat no moreE2
If ever chance two wand'ring lovers bringsB
To Paraclete's white walls and silver springsB
O'er the pale marble shall they join their headsB
And drink the falling tears each other shedsB
Then sadly say with mutual pity mov'dC
Oh may we never love as these have lov'dC
From the full choir when loud Hosannas riseB
And swell the pomp of dreadful sacrificeB
Amid that scene if some relenting eyeO
Glance on the stone where our cold relics lieO
Devotion's self shall steal a thought from Heav'nL
One human tear shall drop and be forgiv'nL
And sure if fate some future bard shall joinL
In sad similitude of griefs to mineL
Condemn'd whole years in absence to deploreE2
And image charms he must behold no moreE2
Such if there be who loves so long so wellO
Let him our sad our tender story tellO
The well sung woes will soothe my pensive ghostC
He best can paint 'em who shall feel 'em mostC

Alexander Pope


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