Elizabeth Ryves, Poems on Several Occasions. London: Printed for the author and sold by J. Dodsley, 1777. 79-82.
In the two following Elegies, Christina Queen of Sweden is represented bewailing the tyranny of Custom, and the restraint she was under with respect to Marriage; and at length determining to sacrifice her interest to love, by abdicating a crown which she was not permitted to share with her lover.
ELEGY THE FIRST.
Thou tyrant Custom! whose relentless laws
Nature and Justice still oppose in vain;
Will no kind angel plead my injurd cause?
Will no avenging arm destroy thy chain?
Must Love (that gentle Powr, whose softning smiles
The savage fierceness of Revenge can tame,
Or soothe Ambition with persuasive wiles,
And lure him back from the pursuits of fame);
Must he, low bending to thy stern command,
The rosy garland and the bow resign;
In courts a mean neglected captive stand,
And by thy laws his juster sway confine?
No, abject shade! let thy imagind hand
Oer coward minds the iron sceptre wield;
A soul superior spurns thy base command,
And bids thy rules to Reasons dictates yield.
From regal pomp and regal cares retird,
Ill lose the sovreign in a softer name;
By fools condemnd, but by the brave admird,
And crownd at once with happiness and fame.
ELEGY THE SECOND.
CHRISTINA to ALEXIS.
Not great Gustavus his exalted throne,
His fair dominions, or his wealth, I prize;
To bear the toils of royalty alone,
Or see some monarch by my favour rise.
Tho Fortune smiles on my auspicious reign,
Since Fate forbids that thou shouldst share the dowr,
For thee the pomp of empire Ill disdain,
And all the high-plumd pageantry of powr.
A soul like mine coud well such trappings spare:
But say, wilt thou renounce Ambitions aim
For me? the withering breath of Censure dare,
And spurn the civic wreath, the heros proud acclaim?
Wilt thou, like me, for some sequesterd shade,
Some village cot, these stately domes resign,
Where Wealth, where Fame, where Pride must neer invade,
But all be sacrificd at Friendships shrine?
Love shuns the troubled haunts of pomp and noise;
Close in a myrtle grove his temple stands;
There he diffuses all his purest joys,
And binds uniting hearts in flowry bands.
But Cupid scorns to hold divided sway,
Nor with Ambition deigns to share a throne;
Who owns his sceptre must his will obey,
And bend to him, despotic Powr! alone.
If then Alexis loves, hell lead the way
Thro Russian deserts or th Atlantic wave,
Rather than here midst tasteless splendor stay,
The dupe of Folly, and vain Fortunes slave.