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This nymph the God Cephisus had abus'd,
The tender dame, folicitous to know
Narcissus now his sixteenth year began,
man; Many a friend the blooming youth carefs d, Many a love-fick maid her fame confess'd. Such was his pride, in vain the friend caress’d, The love-fick maid in vain her flame confess’d.
Once, in the woods, as he pursued the chace, The babbling Echo had defcry'd his face; She, who in others' words her silence breaks, Nor speaks herself but when another speaks. Echo was then a maid, of speech bereft, Of wonted speech; for though her voice was feft, Juno à curse did on her tongue impose, To sport with every sentence in the clofel Full often, when the goddess might have caught Jove and her rivals in the very fault, This nymph with subtle stories would delay Her coming, till the lovers flipp'd away. The Goddess found out the deceit in time, And then she cry:d, “ That tongue, for this thy crime, «« 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-fick virgin, over-joy'd to find
The nymph, when nothing could Narcissus move,
The sounding skeleton, of blood bereft, Besides her bones and voice had nothing left. · Her bones are, petrify'd, her voice is found In vaults, where still it doubles every found.
THE STORY OF NARCISSUS.
THUS did the nymph in vain caress the boy, He still was lovely, but he still was coy: When one'fair virgin of the flighted train Thus pray'd the gods, provok'd by Iris disdain, ** Oh may he love like me, and love like me in vain !" Rhamnusia pity'd the neglected fair, And with just vengeance answer'd to her prayer.
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 sleep, and negligent of food ; Still view'd his face, and languilh'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 so 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 loft ; 6 And yet no bulwark'd town, nor distant coast, 66 Preferves the beauteous youth from being feen, 66 No mountains rise, nor oceans flow between. “ A dallow water hinders. my embrace ; *** And yet the lovely mimic wears a face “ That kindly smiles, and when I bend to join " 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 difdain'd. “ But why should I despair? I 'm sure he burns “ With equal flames, and languithes by turns. “ When-e'er I stoop, he offers at a kiss; 6 And when my arms I stretch, he stretches his. “ His eye with pleasure on my face he keeps, 66 He smiles my smiles, and when I weep he weeps.
6 When-e'er I speak, his moving lips appear, “ To utter something, 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 fee; “ 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 makes me die for want. “ How gladly would I from myself remove ! " And at a distance fet the thing I love.
My breast is warm'd with such unusual fire, “ I wish him absent whom I molt desire. “ And now I faint with grief ; my fate draws nigh; “ In all the pride of blooming youth I die. “ Death will the forrows of my heart relieve. “O might the visionary youth survive, “ I should with joy my latest breath refign! “ But, oh! I fee his fate involy'd in mine,"
This faid, the weeping youth again return'd
Ah whither, cries Narcissus, dost thou fly?