Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

As the foft lyre difplay'd my wonted loves,
The panfive pleasure and the tender pain,
The fordid Alpheus hurry'd through my groves;
Yet ftop'd to vent the dictates of difdain.
He glanc'd contemptuous o'er my ruin'd fold;
He blam'd the graces of my favourite bower;
My breaft, unfully'd by the luft of gold;

My time, unlavish'd in purfuit of power.
Yes, Alpheus! fly the purer paths of fate;
Abjure thefe fcenes from venal paffions free ;
Know, in this grove, I vow'd perpetual hate,
War, endless war, with lucre and with thee.
Here nobly zealous, in my youthful hours,
I dreft an altar to Thalia's name:

Here, as I crown'd the verdant fhrine with flowers,
Soft on my labours ftole the fimiling dame.

Damon, fhe cry'd, if pleas'd with honeft praife,
Thou court fuccefs by virtue or by fong,
Fly the falle dictates of the venal race;
Fly the grofs accents of the venal tongue.
Swear that no lucre fhall thy zeal betray;

Swerve not thy foot with fortune's votaries more; Brand thou their lives, and brand their lifeless dayThe winning phantom urg'd me, and I fwore.

Forth from the ruftic altar fwift I ftray'd,
"Aid my firm purpofe, ye celeftial powers!
Aid me to quell the fordid breaft, I faid;
And threw my javelin tow'rds their hoftile towers

A Roman ceremony in declaring war.

Think not regretful I furvey the deed;
Or added years no more the zeal allow ;
Still, still observant to the grove I speed,

The fhrine embellish, and repeat the vow.
Sworn from his cradle Rome's relentless foe,

Such generous hate the Punic champion * bore; Thy lake, O Thrafimene! beheld it glow,

And Canne's walls, and Trebia's crimfon fhore.
But let grave annals paint the warrior's fame;
Fair shine his arms in history enroll'd;
Whilft humbler lyres his civil worth proclaim,
His nobler hate of avarice and gold.-
Now Punic pride its final eve furvey'd ;
Its hofts exhaufted, and its fleets on fire :
Patient the victor's lurid frown obey'd,

And saw th' unwilling elephants retire.
But when their gold deprefs'd the yielding fcale,
Their gold in pyramidic plenty pil'd,

He faw th' unutterable grief prevail;

He faw their tears, and in his fury smil'd.
Think not, he cry'd, ye view the smiles of cafe,
Or this firm breaft difclaims a patriot's pain;
I fmile, but from a foul eftrang'd to peace,
Frantic with grief, delirious with disdain!
But were it cordial, this detefted fmile,
Seems it lefs timely than the grief ye show?
O fons of Carthage! grant me to revile
The fordid fource of your indecent woe!

E 4
*Hannibal.

Why

Why weep ye now! ye faw with tearless eye
When your fleet perifh'd on the Punic wave;
Where lurk'd the coward tear, the lazy figh,
When Tyre's imperial state commenc'd a flave ?
'Tis paft-O Carthage! vanquifh'd! honour'd fhade!
Go, the mean forrows of thy fons deplore;
Had freedom fhar'd the vow to fortune paid,
She ne'er, like fortune, had forfook thy shore."
He ceas'd-abash'd the conscious audience hear;
Their pallid cheeks a crimson blush unfold;
Yet o'er that virtuous blufh diftreams a tear,
And falling moiftens their abandon'd gold.

[blocks in formation]

He compares his humble fortune with the diftrefs of others; and his fubjection to DELIA, with the miferable fervitude of an African flave.

WH

HY droops this heart, with fancy'd woes
forlorn,

Why finks my foul beneath each wintry sky?
What penfive crowds, by ceafelefs labours worn,
What myriads, wish to be as bleft as I!
What though my roofs devoid of pomp arife,
Nor tempt the proud to quit his deftin'd way?
Nor coftly art my flowery dales difguise,

Where only fimple friendship deigns to stray?

See

I

See the wild fons of Lapland's chill domain,

That fcoop their couch beneath the drifted fnows! How void of hope they ken the frozen plain, Where the sharp eat for ever, ever blows!

Slave though I be, to Delia's eyes a flave,

My Delia's eyes endear the bands I wear;
The figh fhe caufes well becomes the brave,
The pang the caules, 'tis ev'n blifs to bear.
See the poor native quit the Libyan fhores,
Ah! not in love's delightful fetters bound!
No radiant fimile his dying peace reftores;

Nor love, nor fame, nor friendship, heals his wound,
Let vacant bards difplay their boafted woes,
Shall I the mockery of grief difplay?
No, let the Mufe his piercing pangs difclofe,
Who bleeds and weeps his fum of life away.
On the wild beach in mournful guife he ftood,
Ere the fhrill boat/wain gave the hated fign;.
He dropt a tear unfeen into the flood;

He ftole one fecret moment, to repine..

Yet the Mufe liften'd to the plaints he made;
Such moving plaints as nature could inspire;
To me the Mufe his tender plea convey'd,

But fimooth'd, and fuited to the founding lyre.
"Why am I ravifh'd from my native strand
What favage race prote&s this impious gain?
Shall foreign plagues infeft this teeming land,
And more than fea-born monfters plough the main ?

Here

Here the dire locufts horrid fwarms prevail;

Here the blue afps with livid poifon fwell; Here the dry dipfa writh his finuous mail; Can we not here fecure from envy dwell? When the grim lion urg'd his cruel chace, When the ftern panther fought his midnight prey, What fate referv'd me for this chriftian race?

O race more polish'd, more fevere than they! Ye prouling wolves, purfue my latest cries! Thou hungry tiger, leave thy reeking den! Ye fandy waftes, in rapid eddies rife !

O tear me from the whips and fcorns of men!
Yet in their face fuperior beauty glows;

Are fmiles the mien of rapine and of wrong?
Yet from their lip the voice of mercy flows,
And ev'n religion dwells upon their tongue.
Of blissful haunts they tell, and brighter climes,

Where gentle minds convey'd by death repair,
But ftain'd with blood, and crim fon'd o'er with crimes,
Say, fhall they merit what they paint so fair?
No, careless, hopeless, of thofe fertile plains,
Rich by our toils, and by our forrows gay,
They ply our labours, and enhance our pains,
And feign thefe diftant regions to repay.
For them our tufky elephant expires;

For them we drain the mine's embowel'd gold; Where rove the brutal nations wild defires? Our limbs are purchas'd, and our life is fold!

Yet

« AnteriorContinuar »