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Then fiercer joys, I blush to mention these,
Yet while I blush, confess how much they please.
But when, with day, the sweet delusions fly,
And all things wake to life and joy, but I,
As if once more forsaken, I complain,
And close my eyes to dream of you again:
Then frantic rise, and like some fury rove
Through lonely plains, and through the silent grove,
As if the silent grove, and lonely plains,
That knew my pleasures, could relieve my pains.
I view the grotto, once the scene of love,
The rocks around, the hanging roofs above,
That charmed me more, with native moss o'ergrown,
Than Phrygian marble, or the Parian stone.
I find the shades that veiled our joys before;
But, Phaon gone, those shades delight no more.
Here the pressed herbs with bending tops betray
Where oft entwined in amorous folds we lay;
I kiss that earth which once was pressed by you,
And all with tears the withering herbs bedew.
For thee the fading trees appear to mourn,
And birds defer their songs till thy return;
Night shades the groves, and all in silence lie,
All but the mournful Philomel and I:
With mournful Philomel I join my strain,
Of Tereus she, of Phaon I complain.
A spring there is, whose silver waters show,
Clear as a glass, the shining sands below:
A flow'ry lotos spreads its arms above,
Shades all the banks, and seems itself a grove;
Eternal greens the mossy margin grace,
Watched by the sylvan genius of the place.
Here as I lay, and swelled with tears the flood,
Before my sight a wat’ry virgin stood: 1
She stood and cried, “O, you that love in vain! :
Fly hence, and seek the fair Leucadian main;
There stands a rock, from whose impending steep
Apollo's fane surveys the rolling deep;
There injured lovers, leaping from above,
Their flames extinguish, and forget to love.
Deucalion' once with hopless fury burned,
In vain he loved, relentless Pyrrha scorned;
But when from hence he plunged into the main,
Deucalion scorned, and Pyrrha loved in vain.
Haste, Sappho, haste, from high Leucadia throw
Thy wretched weight, nor dread the deeps below!”
She spoke, and vanished with the voice-I rise,
And silent tears fall trickling from my eyes.
I go, ye nymphsl those rocks and seas to prove;
How much I fear, but ah, how much I love!
I go, ye nymphs! where furious love inspires;
Let female fears submit to female fires.
To rocks and seas I fly from Phaon's hate,
And hope from seas and rocks a milder fate.
Ye gentle gales, beneath my body blow,
And softly lay me on the waves below!
And thou, kind Love my sinking limbs sustain,
Spread thy soft wings, and waft me o'er the main,
Nor let a lover's death the guiltless flood profane!
On Phoebus' shrine my harp I'll then bestow,
And this inscription shall be placed below:
“Here she who sung, to him that did inspire,
Sappho to Phoebus consecrates her lyre;
What suits with Sappho, Phæbus, suits with thee;
The gift, the giver, and the God agree.”
But why, alas, relentless youth, ah, why
To distant seas must tender Sappho fly?
Thy charms than those may far more powerful be,
And Phoebus' self is less a god to me.
Ah, canst thou doom me to the rocks and sea,
Oh, far more faithless and more hard than they?
Ah, canst thou rather see this tender breast
Dashed on these rocks than to thy bosom prest?
This breast which once, in vain! you liked so well;
Where the loves played, and where the muses dwell.
Alas! the muses now no more inspiré,
Untuned my lute, and silent is my lyre,
My lanquid numbers have forgot to flow,
And fancy sinks beneath a weight of woe.
Ye Lesbian virgins, and ye Lesbian dames,
Themes of my verse, and objects of my flames,
No more your groves with my glad songs shall ring,
No more these hands shall touch the trembling string:
My Phaon's fled, and I those arts resign.
(Wretch that I am to call that Phaon mine!)
Return, fair youth, return, and bring along
Joy to my soul, and vigour to my song:
Absent from thee, the poet's flame expires;
But ah, how fiercely burn the lover's fires !
Gods! can no prayers, no sighs, no numbers move
One savage heart, or teach it how to love?
The winds my prayers, my sighs, my numbers bear
The flying winds have lost them all in air!
Oh, when, alas! shall more auspicious gales
To these fond eyes restore thy welcome sails?
If you return-ah, why these long delays ? .
Poor Sappho dies while careless Phaon stays.
O, launch thy bark, nor fear the watery plain;
Venus for thee shall smooth her native main.
O, launch thy bark, secure of prosp'rous gales;
Cupid for thee shall spread the swelling sails.
Il you will fly—(yet ah! what cause can be,
Too cruel youth, that you should fly from me?)
If not from Phaon I must hope for ease,
Ah, let me seek it from the raging seas:
To raging seas unpitied I'll remove,
And either cease to live or cease to love!
THE FABLE OF DRYOPE.-
FROM THE NINTH BOOK OF OVID'S METAMORPHOSES,
She said, and for her lost Galanthis ? sighs,
When the fair consorts of her son replies:
“Since you a servant's ravished form bemoan,
And kindly sigh for sorrows not your own,
Let me (if tears and grief permit) relate
A nearer woe, a sister's stranger fate.
No nymph of al! Echalia could compare
For beauteous form with Dryope the fair,
Her tender mother's only hope and pride,
(Myself the offspring of a second bride.)
This nymph compressed by him who rules the day,
Whom Delphi and the Delian isle obey,
Andræmon loved; and, blessed in all those charms
That pleased a god, succeeded to her arms.
A lake there was, with shelving banks around,
Whose verdant summit fragrant myrtles crowned;
The shades, unknowing of the fates, she sought,
And to the Naiads flow'ry garlands brought;
Her smiling babe (a pleasing charge) she prest
Within her arms, and nourished at her breast.
Not distant far a wat’ry lotos grows,'
The spring was new, and all the verdant boughs
Adorned with blossoms promised fruits that vie
In glowing colours with the Tyrian dye:
Of these she cropp'd, to please her infant son,
And I myself the same rash act had done:
But lo! I saw (as near her side I stood)
The violated blossoms drop with blood;
Upon the tree I cast a frightful look;
The trembling tree with sudden horror shook.
Lotis the nymph ( if rural tales be true)
As from Priapus' lawless lust she flew,
Forsook her form; and fixing here became
A flow'ry plant, which still preserves her name.
This change unknown, astonished at the sight,
My trembling sister strove to urge her flight;
And first the pardon of the nymphs implored,
And those offended sylvan pow’rs adored:
But when she backward would have fled, she found
Her stiff ’ning feet were rooted in the ground:
In vain to free her fastened feet she strove,
And, as she struggles, only moves above:
She feels th' encroaching bark around her grow
By quick degrees, and cover all below;
Surprised at this, her trembling hand she heaves
To rend her hair; her hand is filled with leaves:
Where late was hair the shooting leaves are seen
To rise, and shade her with a sudden green.
The child Amphissus, to her bosom prest,
Perceived a colder and a harder breast,
And found the springs, that ne'er till then denied
Their milky moisture, on a sudden dried.
I saw, unhappy! what I now relate,
And stood the helpless witness of thy fate,
Embraced thy boughs, thy rising bark delayed,
There wish'd to grow, and mingle shade with shade.
Behold Andræmon and th' unhappy sire
Appear and for their Dryope inquire:
A springing tree for Dryope they find,
And print warm kisses on the panting rind.
Prostrate with tears their kindred plant bedew,
And close embrace as to the roots they grew.
The face was all that now remain’d of thee,
No more a woman, not yet quite a tree;
Thy branches hung with humid pearls appear,
From ev'ry leaf distils a trickling tear,
And straight a voice, while yet a voice remains,
Thus through the trembling boughs in sighs com-
“If to the wretched any faith be giv'n, plains. I swear, by all the unpitying powers of heav'n, . No wilful crime this heavy vengeance bred: In mutual innocence our lives we led: If this be false, let these new greens decay, Let sounding axes lop my limbs away, And crackling flames on all my honours prey. But from my branching arms this infant bear, Let some kind nurse supply a mother's care: And to his mother let him oft be led Sport in her shades, and in her shades be fed; Teach him, when first his infant voice shall frame Imperfect words, and lisp his mother's name, To hail this tree, and say with weeping eyes, Within this plant my hapless parent lies:' And when in youth he seeks the shady woods, Oh! let him fly the crystal lakes and floods, Nor touch the fatal flow'rs; but warned by me, Believe a goddess shrined in every tree. My sire, my sister, and my spouse, farewell! If in your breasts or love or pity dwell, Protect your plant, nor let my branches feel The browzing cattle or the piercing steel. Farewell ! and since I cannot bend to join My lips to yours, advance at least to mine.