Septimnius and Acme
Whilst on Septimnius's panting breast
(Meaning nothing less than rest)
Acme lean'd her loving head,
The pleas'd Septimnius thus said:
"My dearest Acme, if I be
Once alive, and love not thee
With a passion far above
All that e'er was called love;
In a Libyan desert may
I become some lion's prey;
Let him, Acme, let him tear
My breast, when Acme is not there."
The god of love, who stood by to hear him
(The god of love was always near him)
Pleas'd and tickled with the sound,
Sneez'd aloud; and all around
The little loves, that waited by,
Bow'd, and blest the augury.
Acme, enflam'd with what he said,
Rear'd her gently-bending head;
And, her purple mouth with joy
Stretching to the delicious boy,
Twice (and twice could scarce suffice)
She kissed his drunken rolling eyes.
"My little life, my all" (said she)
"So may we never servants be
To this blest god, and n'er retain
Our hated liberty again!
So may thy passion last for me,
As I a passion have for thee,
Greater and fiercer much than can
Be conceiv'd by thee a man!
It reigns not only in my heart,
But runs, like life, through every part."
She spake; the god of love aloud
Sneez'd again, and all the crowd
Of little loves that waited by,
Bow'd and blest the augury.
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text),
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