What are the themes of Aphra Behn's "On Her Loving Two Equally" and Charlotte Smith's "At the Close of Spring," and how do they compare?
The theme of Aphra Behn's lyric poem in three stanzas may be expressed as the fervent passion of the spring of youth that yearns for more than one youth may bear. The lyric speaks of how the female poetic persona cannot choose between Damon and Alexis. She says that Alexis spoke out for Damon and helped Damon win her heart. But havoc was wrought when Damon spoke in gratitude of Alexis and thus helped Alexis gain her heart. This is a conundrum of Cupid's arrows! At the end of the lyric, the persona cries out to Cupid, "the mighty winged god," to take back one of his arrows, then frets over which one:
One golden-pointed dart take back:
But which, O Cupid, wilt thou take?
If Damon's, all my hopes are crossed;
(The entire section contains 391 words.)
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