I’m certainly learning a lot about obscure English poets as I browse through my anthology looking for interesting poems for this weekly post. I had never heard of George Granville, Lord Lansdowne (photo from here) but I discover that he was the grandson of Bevil Granville, the Civil War Royalist general. George Granville was an MP for Cornwall & Minister for War under Queen Anne but eventually flirted with the Jacobites after becoming disillusioned with his treatment by George I. Dr Johnson was pretty scathing about his poetry & his real claim to fame is his support of Alexander Pope. I don’t know who Mira was but several poems are addressed to her. She seems to have led the poet quite a dance if this poem is anything to go by.
Why, cruel creature, why so bent
To vex a tender heart?
To gold and title you relent;
Love throws in vain his dart.
Let glittering fools in Courts be great;
For pay, let armies move;
Beauty should have no other bait
But gentle vows and love.
If on those endless charms you lay
The value that’s their due,
Kings are themselves too poor to pay,
A thousand worlds too few.
But, if a passion without vice,
Without disguise or art,
Ah Mira! if true love’s your price,
Behold it in my heart.