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        Aphra Behn (1640-1689)

  from Abdelazer, or the Moor's Revenge


    LOve in Phantastique Triumph sat,
    Whilst Bleeding hearts about him flow'd,
    For whom fresh pays he did create,
    And strange Tyrannick pow'r he shew'd;
    From thy bright Eyes he took his fires,
    Which round about in sport he hurl'd;
    But 'twas from mine he took desires,
    Enough t'undoe the Amorous world.

    From me he took his sighs and tears,
    From thee his pride and cruelty;
    From me his languishments and fears,
    And ev'ry killing Dart from thee:
    Thus thou, and I, the God have arm'd,
    And set him up a Deity,
    But my poor heart alone is harm'd,
    Whilst thine the Victor is, and free.


The above poem appears at the beginning of the play Abdelazer. The play opens in "A Rich Chamber" with the stage directions "A table with Lights, Abdelazer Sullenly leaning his heads on his hands; after a while, still Musick plays." The music is the above song.

The entire play can be found, for example, in:

  • Behn, Mrs. A. Abdelazer, or the Moors Revenge. A Tragedy. As it is Acted at his Royal Highness the Duke's Theatre. London: Printed for F. Magnes and R. Bentley, 1677.

    The poem also appeared on its own under the name of Love Arm'd in 1684. While there are a variety of spelling and grammar changes, the only word change is in line 3 where pays is changed (corrected?) to paines: This version can be found in:

  • Behn, Aphra. The Poems of Aphra Behn: A Selection. Janet Todd, ed. New York: New York University Press, 1994.