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“ Poor artless maid ! to stain thy spotless name,
Expense, and art, and toil, united strove; To lure a breast that felt the purest flame,
Sustain'd by virtue, but betray'd by love.
“ School'd in the science of love's mazy wiles,
I cloth'd each feature with affected scorn; I spoke of jealous doubts, and fickle smiles,
And, feigning, left her anxious and forlorn.
“ Then, while the fancy'd rage alarm'd her care,
Warm to deny, and zealous to disprove;
And seiz'd the minute of returning love.
“ To thee, my Damon, dare I paint the rest?
Will yet thy love a candid ear incline ? Assur'd that virtue, by misfortune prest,
Feels not the sharpness of a pang like mine.
“ Nine envious moons matur'd her growing shame ;
Ere-while to flaunt it in the face of day; When, scorn'd of virtue, stigmatiz’d by fame,
Low at my feet desponding Jessy lay. “ • Henry,' she said, by thy dear form subdu'd,
See the sad reliques of a nymph undone ! I find, I find this rising sob renew'd :
I sigh in shades, and sicken at the Sun.
" • Amid the dreary gloom of night, I cry,
When will the morn's once pleasing scenes return? Yet what can morn's returning ray supply, But foes that triumph, or but friends that mourn!
" • Alas! no more that joyous morn appears
That led the tranquil hours of spotless f'ame; For I have steep'd a father's couch in tears,
And ting'd a mother's glowing cheek with shame.
« « The vocal birds that raise their matin strain,
The sportive lambs, increase my pensive moan; All seem to chase me from the cheerful plain,
And talk of truth and innocence alone.
«« « If through the garden's flowery tribes I stray,
Where bloom the jasmines that could once allure, Hope not to find delight in us, they say,
For we are spotless, Jessy; we are pure. 6. Ye flowers! that well reproach a nymph so frail ;
Say, could ye with my virgin fame compare ? The brightest bud that scents the vernal gale
Was not so fragrant, and was not so fair.
" Now the grave old alarm the gentler young;
And all my fame's abhorr'd contagion flee; Trembles each lip, and faulters every tongue,
That bids the morn propitious smile on me.
" " Thus for your sake I shun each human eye ;
I bid the sweets of blooming youth adieu ; To die I languish, but I dread to die,
Lest my sad fate should nourish pangs for you. « • Raise me from earth; the pains of want remove,
And let me silent seek some friendly shore : There only, banish'd from the form I love, My weeping virtue shall relapse no more.
«Be but my friend ; I ask no dearer name ;
Be such the meed of some more artful fair ; Nor could it heal my peace, or chase my shame,
That pity gave, what love refus'd to share.
« Force not my tongue to ask its scanty bread;
Nor hurl thy Jessy to the vulgar crew; Not such the parent's board at which I fed !
Not such the precept from his lips I drew !
" " Haply, when Age has silver'd o'er my hair,
Malice may learn to scorn so mean a spoil ; Envy may slight a face no longer fair ;
And pity, welcome, to my native soil.'
“ She spoke - nor was I born of savage race;
Nor could these hands a niggard boon assign; Grateful she clasp'd me in a last embrace,
And vow'd to waste her life in prayers for mine.
" I saw her foot the lofty bark ascend ;
I saw her breast with every passion heave; I left her torn from every earthly friend ;
Oh! my hard bosom, which could bear to leave !
" — Brief let me be; the fatal storm arose;
The billows rag'd, the pilot's art was vain ; O'er the tall mast the circling surges close;
My Jessy - floats upon the watery plain! “ And see my youth's impetuous fires decay ;
Seek not to stop Reflection's bitter tear; But warn the frolic, and instruct the gay,
From Jessy floating on her watery bier !"
A PASTORAL BALLAD,
IN FOUR PARTS. 1743.
Whose flocks never carelessly roam;
Oh! call the poor wanderers home. Allow me to muse and to sigh,
Nor talk of the change that ye find; None once was so watchful as I;
I have left my dear Phyllis behind.
Now I know what it is, to have strove
With the torture of doubt and desire; What it is to admire and to love,
And to leave her we love and admire. Ah! lead forth my flock in the morn,
And the damps of each evening repel; Alas! I am faint and forlorn :
- I have bade my dear Phyllis farewell.
Since Phyllis vouchsafd me a look,
I never once dreamt of my vine: May I lose both my pipe and my crook,
If I knew of a kid that was mine! I priz'd ev'ry hour that went by,
Beyond all that had pleas'd me before; But now they are past, and I sigh ;
And I grieve that I priz'd them no more.
But why do I languish in vain;
Why wander thus pensively here? Oh! why did I come from the plain,
Where I fed on the smiles of my dear ? They tell me, my favourite maid,
The pride of that valley, is flown; Alas! where with her I have stray'd,
I could wander with pleasure, alone.
When fore'd the fair nymph to forego,
What anguish I felt at my heart !
'T was with pain that she saw me depart. She gaz'd, as I slowly withdrew;
My path I could hardly discern; So sweetly she bade me adieu,
I thought that she bade me return.
The pilgrim that journeys all day
To visit some far distant shrine, If he bear but a relique away,
Is happy, nor heard to repine. Thus widely remov'd from the fair,
Where my vows, my devotion, I owe, Soft Hope is the relique I bear,
And my solace wherever I go.
Whose murmur invites one to sleep;