From ‘The Rivals’

A Pastoral

Force puts no choice their own free will is best
What we urge earnest they but take in jest
One day while picking sprigs of hillock thyme
A little pismire in the flowers did climb
That to her bosom proved a rebel guest
& stung her as she placed it in her breast
Red pimples rose upon the snowy skin
& sighs bespoke the anguish it was in
But when she showed it me with blushing face
I bent with trembling heart & kissed the place
Urging the charm as cure for all her pain
She smiled as wishing to be kissed again

(lines 151 – 162)

The Shepherd's Calendar, with Village Stories, and Other Poems (1827)

(pismire = an ant)

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