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This nymph the God Cephisus had abus'd,
The tender dame, folicitous to know
Long liv'd the, dubious mother in fufpenfe, „Till time unriddled all the prophet's sense.
Narcissus now his sixteenth year began,
Once, in the woods, as he pursued the chace,
fault, This nymph with subtle-stories would delay Her coming, till the lovers Nipp'd away. The Goddess found out the deceit in time, And then she cryd, “ That tongue, for this thy crime, 4* Which could so many subtle tales produce, 66. Shall be hereafter but of little use." Hence
Hence 'tis the prattles in a fainter tone,
This love-lick virgin, over-joy'd to find
The nymph, when nothing could Narcisus move,
THE STORY OF NARCISSUS.
THUS did the nymph in vain caress the boy,
Oh may he love like me, and love like me in vain!"
There ftands a fountain in a darksome wood, Nor stain’d with falling leaves nor rising mud;
Untroubled by the breath of winds it rests,
Its empty being on thyself relies;
Still o'er the fountain's watery gleam he food, Mindless of neep, and negligent of food; Still view'd his face, and languish'd as he view'd. At length he rais'd his head, and thus began To vent his griefs, and tell the woods his pain : " You trees, says he, and thou surrounding grove, “ Who oft have been the kindly scenes of love, • Tell me, if e'er within your shades did lie “ A youth fo tortur'd, so perplex'd as I! " I who before me see the charming fair, " Whilst there he stands, and yet he stands not there : “ In such a maze of love my thoughts are lost; 6. And yet no bulwark'd town, nor diftant coast, « Preferves the beauteous youth from being feen, 66 No mountains rise, nor oceans flow between. « A lallow water hinders.
embrace ; * And yet the lovely mimic wears a face " That kindly smiles, and when I bend to join 56 My lips to his, he fondly bends to mine. “ Hear, gentle youth, and pity my complaint, " Come from thy well, thou fair inhabitant. “ My charms an easy conquest have obtain'd « O’er other hearts; by thee alone disdain'd. “ But why should I despair? I 'm sure he burns « With equal flames, and languishes by turns. “ When-e’er I stoop, he offers at a kiss; " And when my arms I stretch, he stretches his. 6. His eye with pleasure on my face he keeps, 66 He smiles my smiles, and when I weep
6 When-e'er I speak, his moving lips appear “ To utter fomething, which I cannot hear.
« Ah wretched me! I now begin too late “ To find out all the long perplex'd deceit; “ It is myself I love, myself I see ; “ The gay delufion is a part of me. “ I kindle up the fires by which I burn, “ And my own beauties from the well return. “ Whom should I court? How utter my complaint ?
Enjoyment but produces my restraint, “ And too much plenty nakes me die for want. “ How gladly would I from myself remove ! " And at a distance set the thing I love. “ My breast is warm'd with such unusual fire, “ I wish him absent whom I most defire. “And now I faint with grief ; my fate draws nigh ; “ In all the pride of blooming youth I die. “ Death will the sorrows of my heart relieve. “ O might the visionary youth survive, “ I fould with joy my latest breath refign! “ But, oh! I fee his fate involv'd in mine,"
This faid, the weeping youth again return'd To the clear fountain, where again he burn'd; His tears defac'd the surface of the well, With circle after circle, as they fell : And now the lovely face but half appears, O'er-run with wrinkles, and deform'd with tears, « Ah whither, cries Narcissus, doit thou fly? “ Let me still feed the flame by which I die ; “ Let me still see, though I 'm no further bleft." Then rends his garment off, and beats his brcast :