Here is the second installment (of three) of a poem generally attributed to Thomas, the sixth Earl of Harrington (originally printed circa 1730). Part one was yesterday and part three will be tomorrow. Enjoy!
. . .
Though Bell was otherwise employed,
The thunder all her bliss destroyed;
Her spirits failed, she trembling said, —
“Alas, deal Lindar! I’m afraid,
“The gods are angry at out love,
“Which makes them thunder from above:
“Alas, my dear! how shall we save
“Ourselves? This bed will be our grave;
“Whither, ah! whither shall we fly?
“I’ll to the cellar go and try,
“If by my prayers, I can appease
“The gods, and make the thunder cease.”
The lover begged the fair to stay,
But all in vain, she would away;
He would have gone with her, but she
By no means would to that agree;
But folding him within her arms,
“You have,” said she, “So many charms,
“That if you went with me below,
“I love so well, I do not know,
“But I might do that deed once more,
“For which the gods in anger roar;
“I beg, dear Lindar! you may stay,
“While I go down alone and pray.”
Next door my lady’s daughter stayed,
Though scarce fifteen was still a maid;
The fairest creature ever was seen,
For eyes, for face, for shape, for mien,
Who still was sweet, and always mild,
And innocent as any child;
Who, frightened by the thunder, rose,
And, without putting on her clothes,
But by her childish terror led,
Came straight to Isabella’s bed.
Lindar, who dreamed on nothing less,
Was much surprised as one may guess,
And to the other side did creep,
Feigning to be in deepest sleep.
Lysetta, (so the girl was named),
The drowsy Isabella blamed,
Saying, “Why do you turn away?
“Within my bed I dare not stay,
“O turn! and take me in your arms,
“Protect me from those dire alarms.”
Young Lindar, moved with her distress,
did in his arms the fair one press;
But as the dreadful noise increased,
The child clung closer to his breast.
That love could scarce have taught her better:
Judge if it was an easy matter
For him to counterfeit a maid,
When she was on his boson laid.
But soon Lysetta frightened grew,
And from his twining arms withdrew:
“Good God!” the harmless child cried out,
And trembled all from head to foot;
“Are you a monster? Tell me, pray.
“For as I was the other day,
“Upon the river with my mother,
“I naked saw just such another;
“I thought it had a woman been,
“And fair as any I had seen;
“Something about its shape was new,
“But as the creature nearer drew,
“Mamma cried out, with great surprise,
“Lysetta turn away your eyes!
“It is a monster! Now, dear Bell,
“Are you a monster? Prythee tell.”
Lindar, on this his silence broke,
And with a feigned accent spoke:
“No; ’tis occasioned by the fright
“That I have been in all this night:
“Have you not heard your nurse declare,
“That fear has turned a man a hare?
“Nay some, through very fear and dread,
“Had thorn that grew upon his head.”
Lysetta, who but little knew,
Believed the idle fable true;
And, being curious, laid her hand
On what she did not understand;
But as the thunder louder grew,
She nearer still and nearer drew,
At last her leg she over him threw; —
The opportunity he watched,
And thus the lucky minute catched.
. . . continued tomorrow!