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Go then, seek her humble grave,
All ye who sport in Folly's ray, And as the gale the grass shall wave,
List to a voice that seems to say, “ 'Tis not the measure of your powers
“ To which th' eternal meed is given : • Tis wasted or improved hours - Shall forfeit or secure you
Describing the Sorrow of an ingenuous Mind, on the melancholy Event of a licentious Amour.
Shenstone. Why mourns my friend? why weeps his downcast
eye? That eye where mirth, where fancy us’d to
shine? Thy chearful meads reprove that swelling sigh;
Spring ne'er enameli'd fairer meads than thine. Art thou not lodg'd in Fortune's warm embrace ?
Wert thou not form'd by Nature's partial care? Blest in thy song, and blest in ev'ry grace,
That wins the friend, or that enchants the fair? Damon, said he, thy partial praise restrain;
Not Damon's friendship can my peace restore; Alas! his very praise awakes my pain,
And my poor wounded bosom bleeds the more. For oh! that nature on my birth had frown'd!
Or fortune fix'd me to some lowly cell ! Then had my bosom ’scap'd this fatal wound,
Nor had I bid these vernal sweets farewell. But, led by Fortune's hand, her darling child,
My youth her vain licentious bliss admir'd; In Fortune's train the siren Flatt'ry smild,
And rashly hallow'd all her queen inspir’d.
Of folly studious, ev'n of vices vain,
Ah, vices! gilded by the rich and gay!
Nor dropt the chace, till Jessy was my prey.
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.
Warm to deny, and zealous to disprove,
And seiz'd the minute of returning love.
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;
Low at my feet desponding Jessy lay.
“ See the sad relics 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, 6 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
“ Alas! no more that joyous morn appears
That led the tranquil hours of spotless fame ; 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 thro’ the garden's flow'ry 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. “ Ye flow'rs ! 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.
« Malice may
“ 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 precepts from his lips I drew! “ Haply, when age has silver'd o'er my hair,
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 bands a niggard boon assign; Grateful she clasp'd me in a last embrace,
And vow'd to waste her life in pray’rs 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;
My Jessy floats upon the wat'ry plain!
Seek not to stop reflection's bitter tear;
gay, From Jessy floating on her wat'ry bier!
TO MRS. UNWIN.–Cowper.
Thy needles, once a shining store !
My Mary! But well thou play'dst the housewife's part; And all thy threads, with magic art, Have wound themselves about this heart,
My Mary! Thy indistinct expressions seem Like language utter'd in a dream; Yet me they charm, whate'er the theme,
My Mary! Thy silver locks, once auburn bright! Are still more lovely in my sight Than golden beams of orient light,
My Mary! For could I view nor them nor thee, What sight worth seeing could I see? The sun would rise in vain for me,
My Mary! Partakers of thy sad decline, Thy hands their little force resign; Yet gently prest, press gently mine,
My Mary! Such feebleness of limbs thou prov'st, That now, at every step thou mov'st Upheld by two, yet still thou lov'st,
My Mary! And still to love, though prest with ill, In wintry age to feel no chill, With me is to be lovely still,