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THE

BOWER OF MELISSA.

A TALE..

CANTO I.

THE BOWER OF MELISSA.

A TALE.

CANTO I.

Twas when the zephyr's breath had wak'd the flowers,

And May with blossoms deck'd her vernal bowers,
Two knights with various talk beguild the way,
Which near the stream and through the forest lay.
Sons of one sire, nor more by blood allied,
Than by the bands of friendship closely tied,
In social arms the noble pair proceeds
To purchase glory by adventurous deeds; -
Yet different passions each brave bosom fir'd,
By honour one, as one by love inspir’d. . .

An aged monarch held his gentle reign,
Where Deya washes the Cornavian plain.
An only daughter was his pride and care,
Mild as the dawn, and fairest of the fair..
This prince, by conquest once with glory crown'd,
Nor less in arts of useful peace renown'd,
Proclaim'd a tournament, still pleas'd to view
The martial game his triumphs past renew.
Thither the warriors urg'd their steeds along,
Cadwall, and Paladour, the bold and young.
His strength superior, and his dauntless heart,
To Cadwall omens of success impart. . .
As brave was Paladour, and skilld to wield .
Each various weapon in the listed field:
But anxious fears his labouring mind infest,
And secret passion swells his heaving breast.
" Round other brows let wreaths of conquest twine,"
Thus pray'd the youth, “ the lovely maid be mine."
Cadwall amaz'd his pensive mien survey'd,
As slow they journey'd through surrounding shade.

Why droops,' he cried, 'my brother and my friend,' * Though full in view immortal fame ascend?' • The brave of ev'ry clime the prize contest; • But no base fears invade that noble breast; * For nurs'd in arms, and bred to hardy fight, * Thy sport is war, and danger thy delight. • Yet dost thou droop! Thy secret wound explain,

Or do I boast the name of friend in vain ?' * And will not Cadwall,' Paladour replied, • The fond distresses of my heart deride ?

Cadwall, unknowing of love's soft alarms, * And kindling only at the sound of arms ?

Yet not on choice, but unresisted fate, * Depends the various colour of our state; • Thou by th’ Almighty will to fame impellid, .' Thy friend in love's inglorious bondage held. • Know then that, once, beneath the beechen shade, ? Tir'd with the chace my fainting limbs I laid.

Sudden the rustling boughs invade my ear,
Quick panting breath, and rapid steps I hear.

VOL. 11.

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