« AnteriorContinuar »
Now forced to wake, because afraid to sleep, Her blood all fever'd, with a furious leap She sprung from bed, distracted in her mind! And fear'd, at every step, a twitching sprite behind. Darkling and desperate, with a staggering pace, Of death afraid, and conscious of disgrace; Fear, pride, remorse, at once her heart assail'd; Pride put remorse to flight, but fear prevail'd. Friday, the fatal day, when next it came, [game, Her soul forethought the fiend would change his And her pursue, or Theodore be slain, [plain. And two ghosts join their packs to hunt her o'er the This dreadful image so possess'd her mind, That, desperate any succour else to find, She ceased all further hope; and now began To make reflection on the' unhappy man: Rich, brave, and young, who pastexpression loved, Proof to disdain, and not to be removed; Of all the men respected and admired, Of all the dames, except herself, desired. Why not of her? preferr'd above the rest [fess'd? By him with knightly deeds, and open love proSo had another been, where he his vows address'd. This quell'd her pride; yet other doubts remain'd, That once disdaining, she might be disdain'd. The fear was just; but greater fear prevail'd, Fear of her life by hellish hounds assail'd; He took a lowering leave; but who can tell, What outward hate might inward love conceal? Her sex's arts she knew, and why not, then, Might deep dissembling have a place in men? Here hope began to dawn; resolved to try, She fix'd on this her utmost remedy; Death was behind, but hard it was to die.
'Twas time enough at last on death to call, The precipice in sight: a shrub was all
That kindly stood betwixt to break the fatal fall.
One maid she had, beloved above the rest;
Secure of her, the secret she confess'd:
And now the cheerful light her fears dispell'd,
She with no winding turns the truth conceal'd,
But put the woman off, and stood reveal'd:
With faults confess'd, commission'd her to go,
If pity yet had place, and reconcile her foe.
The welcome message made, was soon received;
"Twas what he wish'd and hoped, but scarce be-
Fate seem'd a fair occasion to present,
He knew the sex, and fear'd she might repent,
Should he delay the moment of consent.
There yet remain'd to gain her friends, (a care
The modesty of maidens well might spare ;)
But she with such a zeal the cause embraced,
(As women, where they will, are all in haste)
That father, mother, and the kin beside,
Were overborne by fury of the tide :
With full consent of all, she changed her state,
Resistless in her love, as in her hate.
By her example warn'd, the rest beware;
More easy, less imperious, were the fair;
And that one hunting, which the devil design'd
For one fair female, lost him half the kind,
Now turning from the wintry signs, the sun
His course exalted through the Ram had run,
And whirling up the skies, his chariot drove
Through Taurus, and the lightsome realms of love;
Where Venus from her orb descends in showers
To glad the ground, and paint the fields with flowers:
When first the tender blades of grass appear,
And buds, that yet the blast of Eurus fear,
Stand at the door of life, and doubt to clothe the
Till gentle heat, and soft repeated rains, [year;
Make the green blood to dance within their veins:
Then, at their call, embolden'd out they come,
And swell the gems, and burst the narrow room;
Broader and broader yet, their blooms display,
Salute the welcome sun, and entertain the day.
Then from their breathing souls the sweets repair
To scent the skies, and purge the' unwholesome air:
Joy spreads the heart, and with a general song
Spring issues out, and leads the jolly months along.
In that sweet season, as in bed I lay,
And sought in sleep to pass the night away,
I turn'd my weary side, but still in vain,
Though full of youthful health, and void of pain:
Cares I had none, to keep me from my rest,
For love had never enter'd in my breast;
I wanted nothing fortune could supply,
Nor did she slumber till that hour deny.
I wonder'd then, but after found it true,
Much joy had dried away the balmy dew:
Seas would be pools, without the brushing air
To curl the waves; and sure some little care
Should weary Nature so, to make her want repair.
When Chanticleer the second watch had sung,
Scorning the scorner sleep, from bed I sprung;
And dressing, by the moon, in loose array,
Pass'd out in open air, preventing day,
And sought a goodly grove, as fancy led my way.
Straight as a line in beauteous order stood,
Of oaks unshorn, a venerable wood;
Fresh was the grass beneath, and every tree
At distance planted in a due degree,
Their branching arms in air with equal space
Stretch'd to their neighbours with a long embrace:
And the new leaves on every bough were seen,
Some ruddy-colour'd, some of lighter green.
The painted birds, companions of the spring,
Hopping from spray to spray, were heard to sing;
Both eyes and ears received a like delight,
Enchanting music, and a charming sight.
On Philomel I fix'd my whole desire,
And listen'd for the queen of all the quire;
Fain would I hear her heavenly voice to sing,
And wanted yet an omen to the Spring.
Attending long in vain, I took the way,
Which through a path, but scarcely printed, lay;
In narrow mazes oft it seem'd to meet,
And look'd as lightly press'd by fairy-feet.
Wandering I walk'd alone; for still methought To some strange end so strange a path was wrought. At last it led me where an arbour stood,
The sacred receptacle of the wood:
This place unmark'd, though oft I walk'd the green,
In all my progress I had never seen:
And seized at once with wonder and delight,
Gazed all around me, new to the transporting sight.
"Twas bench'd with turf, and goodly to be seen,
The thick young grass arose in fresher green:
The mound was newly made, no sight could pass
Betwixt the nice partitions of the grass,
The well united sods so closely lay;
And all around the shades defended it from day:
For sycamores with eglantine were spread,
A hedge about the sides, a covering over head.
And so the fragrant brier was wove between,
The sycamore and flowers were mix'd with green,
That nature seem'd to vary the delight,
And satisfied at once the smell and sight.
The master workman of the bower was known
Through fairy lands, and built for Oberon ;
Who twining leaves with such proportion drew,
They rose by measure, and by rule they grew :
No mortal tongue can half the beauty tell,
For none but hands divine could work so well.
Both roof and sides were like a parlour made,
A soft recess, and a cool summer shade;
The hedge was set so thick, no foreign eye
The persons placed within it could espy:
But all that pass'd without with ease was seen,
As if nor fence nor tree was placed between.
"Twas border'd with a field; and some was plain
With grass; and some was sow'd with rising grain;