So ‘prognosticates’ ‘violin’ ‘basil’ and ‘tarot’ are probably not 18th century words, but what the heck? Here’s my attempt:
To My Mistress Lock’d Away
THE resting moon defies its shifting clouds
And casts them off like lovers from their shrouds.
Walking home, I removed an asphodel
That sprung from wildly blossoming basil.
Between my teeth I held it like a rose
And let its petals tickle my red nose.
That’s how I lov’d you—close, in high regard.
You were my Eloise, and I your Abelard.
With nostril aim’d like Cupid’s arrow
My breath prognosticates like Tarot
That love like ours is never narrow.
If Saturn grants me one more rhyme
I’ll say my teeth may hold you for a time
But our tongues entwin’d together knew
In truth there was no me, there was no you.
Enlivened by your voice, your graceful touch;
I never knew I’d been denied so much
Until your fingers danced across my skin
And felt you play my humours like a violin.
O my asphodel! new shadows waken every day
And from their slumber hope for love’s decay.
Tho love’s day is brief, the moon goes not away.