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* She in her chariot seen to ride,
A noble train attend her side :
A cherub first, in prime of years,
The champion fortitude appears ;
Next temp'rance sober mistress. seen,
With look compos'd and cheerful mien;
Calm patience still victorious found,
With never fading glories crown'd,
Firm justice last the balance rears,
The good man's praise, the bad man's fears;
While chief in beaut: as in place
She charms with dear Mouiinia's grace.
Monimia still ! here once again !
O! fatal name. Oh! dubious strain !
Say, heav'n born virtue, pow'r divine,
Are all these various movements thine?
Was it thy triumphs, sole inspir'd
My soul to holy transports fir'd ?
Or say do springs less sacred move ?
Ah! much I fear, it's human love.
Alas! the noble strife is o'er,
The blissful visions charm no more ;
Far off the glorious rapture flown,
Monimia rages here alone.
In vain, love's fugitive, I try
From the commanding pow'r to fly,
Though grace was dawning on my soul,
Possest by heav'n sincere and whole,
Yet still in fancy's painted cells
The soul-inflaming image dwells.
Why didst thou, cruel love, again
Thus drag me back, to earth and pain ?
Well hop'd I, love, thou would'st retire
Before the blest Jessean lyre.
Devotion's harp would charm to rest,
The evil spirit in my breast;
But the deaf adder fell disdains,
Unlist'ning to the chanter's strains.
Contemplation, baffled maid,
Remains there yet no other aid ?
* See Characteristics, Vol. II. page 252.
Helpless and weary must thou yield
To love supreme in ev'ry field ?
Let melancholy last eligage,
Rev'rend hoary mantied sage.
Sure, at his sable flag's display
Love's idle troop will fit away :
And bring with him bis due compeer,
Silence, sad, forlorn, and drear.
Haste thee, silence, haste and go,
To search the gloomy world below.
My trembling steps, 0 Sybil, lead,
Through the dominions of the dead :
Where care, enjoying soft repose,
Lays down the burden of his woes;
Where meritorious want, no more
Shiv'ring begs at grandeur's door;
Unconscious grandeur, seal'd his eyes,
On the mould'ring purple lies.
In the dim and dreary round,
Speech in eternal chains lies bound.
And see a tomb, it's gates display'd,
Expands an everlasting shade.
O ye inhabitants ! that dwell
Each forgotten in your cell,
O say! for whom of human race
Has fate decreed this hiding place?
And hark! methinks a spirit calls,
Low winds the whisper round the walls,
A voice, the sluggish air that breaks,
Solemn amid the silence speaks.
Mistaken man thou seek'st to know,
What known will but afflict with woe ;
There thy Monimia shall abide,
With the pale bridegroom rest a bride,
The wan assistants there shall lay,
In weeds of death, her beauteous clay.
0 words of woe! what do I hear?
What sounds invade a lover's ear?
Must then thy charms, my anxious care,
The fate of vulgar beauty share ?
Good heav'n retard (for thine the pow'r)
The wheels of time, that roll the hour.
Yet ah! why swells my breast with fears? Why start the interdicted tears? Love dost thou tempt again? depart, Thou devil, cast out from my heart. Sad I forsook the feast, the ball, The sunny bow'r and lofty hall, And sought the dungeon of despair : Yet thou overtak'st me there. How little dream'd I thee to find In this lone state of human kind! Nor melancholy can prevail, The direful deed, nor dismal tale : Hop'd I for these thou would'st remove? How near akin is grief to love ! Then no more I strive to shun Love's chains : O heav'n! thy will be done. The best physician here I find, To cure a sore diseased mind, For soon this venerable gloom Will yield a weary sufferer room; No more a slave to love decreed, At ease and free among the dead. Come then, ye tears, ne'er cease to flow, In full satiety of woe: Though now the maid my heart alarms, Severe and mighty in her charms, Doom'd to obey, in bondage prest, The tyrant's love commands unblest; Pass but some fleeting moments o'er, This rebel heart shall beat no more ; Then from my dark and closing eye, The form beloy'd shall ever fly. The tyranny of love shall cease, Both laid down to sleep in peace; To share alike our mortal lot, Her beauties and my cares forgot.
TO THE COUNTESS OF EGLINTOUN.
WITH THE GENTLE SHEPHERD. 17-26.
ACCEPT, O Eglintoun! the rural lays,
Thine be the friends, and thine the poet's praise.
The muse that oft has rais'd her tuneful strains,
A frequent guest on Scotia's blissful plains,
That oft has sung, her list'ning youth to move,
The charms of beauty, and the force of love,
Once more resumes the still successful lay,
Delighted, through the verdant meads to stray:
O! come, invok'd, and pleas'd, with her repair,
To breathe the balmy sweets of purer air ;
In the cool evening negligently laid,
Or near the stream, or in the rural shade; .
Propitious hear, and, as thou hear'st, approve
The Gentle Shepherd's tender tale of love.
Learn from these scenes what warm and glowing fires
Inflame the breast that real love inspires;
Delighted read of ardor, sighs, and tears;
All that a lover hopes, and all he fears :
Hence too, what passions in his bosom rise,
What dawning gladness sparkles in his eyes,
When first the fair is bounteous to relent,
And blushing beauteous, smiles the kind consent.
Love's passion here in each extreme is shown,
In Charlotte's smile, or in Maria's frown.
With words like these, that fail'd not to engage,
Love courted beauty in a golden age,
Pure and untaught, such nature first inspir’d,
Ere yet the fair affected phrase admir’d.
His secret thoughts were undisguis'd with art,
His words ne'er knew to differ from his heart.
He speaks his loves so artless and sincere,
As thy Eliza might be pleas'd to hear.
Heaven only to the rural state bestows
Conquest o'er life, and freedom from its woes;
Secure alike from envy, and from care,
Nor rais'd by hope, nor yet deprest by fear;
Nor want's lean hand its happiness constrains,
Nor riches torture with ill-gotten gains ;
No secret guilt its steadfast peace destroys,
No wild ambition interrupts its joys.
Blest still to spend the hours that heav'n has lent,
In humble goodness, and in calm content;
Serenely gentle, as the thoughts that roll,
Sinless and pure, in fair Humeia's soul.
But now the rural state these joys has lost,
Even swains no more that innocence can boast,
Love speaks no more what beauty may believe,
Prone to betray, and practis'd to deceive.
Now happiness forsakes her blest retreat,
The peaceful dwellings where she fix'd her seat;
The pleasing fields she wont of old to grace,
Companion to an upright sober race;
When on the sunny hill, or verdant plain,
Free and familiar with the sons of men,
To crown the pleasures of the blameless feast,
She uninvited came a welcome guest :
Ere yet an age, grown rich in impious arts,
Seduc'd from innocence incautious hearts;
Then grudging hate, and sinful pride succeed,
Cruel revenge, and false unrighteous deed :
Then dow'rless beauty lost the power to move ;
The rust of lucre stain'd the gold of love.
Bounteous no more, and hospitably good,
The genial hearth first blush'd with stranger's blood.
The friend no more upon the friend relies,
And semblant falsehood puts on truth's disguise.
The peaceful household fillid with dire alarms,
The ravish'd virgin mourns her slighted charms;
The voice of impious mirth is heard around;
In guilt they feast, in guilt the bowl is crown'd.
Unpunish'd vi'lence lords it o'er the plains,
And happiness forsakes the guilty swains.
O Happiness! from human search retir'd, i
Where art thou to be found, by all desir'd ?
Nun sober and devout! why art thou fled
To hide in shades thy meek contented head?
Virgin of aspect mild! ah why unkind,
Fly'st thou displeas'd, the commerce of mankind ?