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Sudden you mount, you beckop from the skies; Clouds interpose, waves roar, and winds arise. I shriek, start up, the same sad prospect find, And wake to all the griefs I left behind.
For thee the Fates, severely kind, ordain A cool suspense from pleasure and from pain; Thy life a long dead calm of fix'd repose; No pulse that riots, and no blood that glows. Still as the sea, ere winds were taught to blow, Or moving spirit bade the waters flow; Soft as the slumbers of a saint forgiven. And mild as opening gleams of promis'd heaven.
Come, Abelard ! for what hast thou to dread ? The torch of Venus burns not for the dead. Nature stands check'd; religion disapproves ; Ev'n thou art cold-yet Eloïsa loves. Ah, hopeless, lasting flames ! like those that burn To light the dead, and warm th’ unfruitful urn.
What scenes appear where'er I turn my view The dear ideas, where I fly, pursue, Rise in the grove, before the altar rise, Stain all my soul, and wanton in my eyes, I waste the matin lamp in sighs for thee, Thy image steals between my God and me, Thy voice I seem in every hymn to hear, With every bead I drop too soft a tear. When from the censer clouds of fragrance roll, And swelling organs lift the rising soul, One thought of thee puts all the pomp to flight, Priests, tapers, temples, swim before my sight: In seas of fame my plunging soul is drown'd, While altars blaze, and angels tremble round.
While prostrate here in humble grief I lie, Kind, virtuous drops just gathering in my eye, While, praying, trembling, in the dust I roll, And dawning grace is opening on my soul : Come, if thou dar’st, all charming as thou art ! Oppose thyself to heaven; dispute my heart ; Come, with one glance of those deluding eyes Blot out each bright idea of the skies;
Take back that grace, those sorrows, and those
No, fy me, fly me, far as pole from pole;
See in her cell sad Eloïsa spread, Propt on some tomb, a neighbour of the dead. In each low wind methinks a spirit calls, And more than echoes talk along the walls. Here, as I watch'd the dying lamps, around, From yonder shrine I heard a hollow sound. • Come, sister, come!' it said, or seem'd to say' * Thy place is here, sad sister, come away! Once like thyself, I trembled, wept, and pray'd, Love's victim then though, now a sainted maid: But all is calm in this eternal sleep; Here grief forgets to groan, and love to weep: Ev'n superstition loses every fear ; For God, not man, absolves our frailties here.'
I come, I come! prepare your roseate bowers Celestial palms, and ever-blooming flowers. Thither, where sinners may have rest, I go, Where flames refin'd in breasts seraphie glow: Thou, Abelard ! the last sad office pay, And smooth my passage to the realms of day;
See my lips tremble, and my eye-balls roll,
Then too, when fate shall thy fair frame destroy
round, From opening skies may streaming glories shine, And saints embrace thee with a love like mine!
May one kind grave unite each hapless name, And graft my love immortal on thy fame! Then, ages hence, when all my woes are o'er When this rebellious heart shall beat no more; If ever chance two wand'ring lovers brings To Paraclete's white walls and silver springs, O'er the pale marble shall they join their heads, And drink the falling tears each other sheds ! Then sadly say, with mutual pity mov'd, *(, may we never love as these have lov'd ! From the full choir, when loud hosannas rise, And swell the pomp of dreadful sacrifice, Amid that sceoe if some relenting eye Glance on the stone where our cold relics lie, Devotion's self shall steal a thought from heaven, One human tear shall drop, and be forgiven. And sure if fate some future bard shall join In sad similitude of griefs to mine,
Condemn'd whole years in absence to deplore,
THE TEMPLE OF FAME.
Written in the Year 1711,
The hint of the following piece was taken from
Chaucer's House of Fame. The design is in a manner entirely altered, the descriptions and most of the particular thoughts my own; yet I could not suffer it to be printed without this acknowledgement. The reader who would compare this with Chaucer, may begin with his third book of Fame, there being nothing in the first two
books that answers to their title. The poem is introduced in the manner of the Pro
vençal poets, whose works were for the most part visions, or pieces of imagination, and constantly descriptive. From these, Petrarch and Chaucer frequently borrowed the idea of their poems. See the Trionfi of the former, and the Dream, Flower and the Leaf, &c. of the latter. The author of this, therefore, chose the same sort of exordium.
THE TEMPLE OF FAME.
that soft season, when descending showers Call forth the greens, and wake the rising
flowers; When opening buds salute the welcome day, And earth relenting feels the genial ray;