Fanny of TimmolA Mail-Coach AdventureQuadrigis petimus bene vivere. HORACE.Sweet Fanny of Timmol! when first you came in To the close little carriage in which I was hurl’d,I thought to myself, if it were not a sin, I could teach you the prettiest tricks in the world.For your dear little lips, to their destiny true, Seem’d to know they were born for the use of another;And, to put me in mind of what I ought to do, Were eternally biting and kissing each other.And then you were darting from eyelids so sly, — Half open, half shutting, — such tremulous light:Let them say what they will, I could read in your eye More comical things than I ever shall write.And oft as we mingled our legs and our feet, I felt a pulsation, and cannot tell whetherIn yours or in mine — but I know it was sweet, And I think we both felt it and trembled together.At length when arriv’d, at our supper we sat, I heard with a sigh, which had something of pain,That perhaps our last moment of meeting was that, And Fanny should go back to Timmol again.Yet I swore not that I was in love with you, Fanny, — Oh, no! for I felt it could never be true;I but said what I’ve said very often to many — There’s few I would rather be kissing than you!Then first did I learn that you once had believ’d Some lover, the dearest and falsest of men;And so gently you spoke of the youth who deceiv’d That I thought you perhaps might be tempted again.But you told me that passion a moment amus’d Was follow’d too oft by an age of repenting;And check’d me, so softly, that while you refus’d, Forgive me, dear girl, if I thought ’twas consenting!And still I entreated, and still you denied, Till I almost was made to believe you sincere:Though I found that, in bidding me leave you, you sigh’d, And when you repuls’d me, ’twas done with a tear.In vain did I whisper “There’s nobody nigh;” In vain with the tremors of passion implore:Your excuse was a kiss, and a tear your reply — I acknowledg’d them both, and I ask’d for no more.Was I right? – oh! I cannot believe I was wrong. Poor Fanny is gone back to Timmol again;And may Providence guide her uninjur’d along, Nor scatter her path with repentance and pain!By Heav’n’ I would rather for ever forswear The elysium that dwells on a beautiful breast,Than alarm for a moment the peace that is there, Or banish the dove from so hallow’d a nest!