(comparative more perplext, superlative most perplext)
- Charles and Mary Lamb, The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb IV:
- Twas but in a sort I blam'd thee; None e'er prosper'd who defam'd thee; Irony all, and feign'd abuse, Such as perplext lovers use, At a need, when, in despair To paint forth their fairest fair, Or in part but to express That exceeding comeliness Which their fancies doth so strike, They borrow language of dislike; And, instead of Dearest Miss, Jewel, Honey, Sweetheart, Bliss, And those forms of old admiring, Call her Cockatrice and Siren, Basilisk, and all that's evil, Witch, Hyena, Mermaid, Devil, Ethiop, Wench, and Blackamoor, Monkey, Ape, and twenty more; Friendly Trait'ress, loving Foe,-- Not that she is truly so, But no other way they know A contentment to express, Borders so upon excess, That they do not rightly wot Whether it be pain or not.
- 1874, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Idylls of the King:
- What might she mean by that? his large black eyes, Yet larger through his leanness, dwelt upon her, Till all her heart's sad secret blazed itself In the heart's colours on her simple face; And Lancelot looked and was perplext in mind, And being weak in body said no more; But did not love the colour; woman's love, Save one, he not regarded, and so turned Sighing, and feigned a sleep until he slept.