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"Twas when the ftep with confcious pleasure roves,
Where round the fhades the circling woodbines throng; When Flora wantons o'er th' enamell'd groves,
And feather'd choirs indulge the amorous fong:
Inspir'd by duteous love, I fondly stray'd,
Two milk-white doves officious to enfnare;
Beneath a filent thicket as they play'd,
A grateful prefent for my fofter fair.
But, ah! in fmiles no more they met my fight,
Their ruffled heads lay gafping on the ground:
Where my dire emblem!-a rapacious kite
Tore their soft limbs, and ftrew'd their plumes around.
The tear of pity stole into my eye;
While ruder paffions in their turn succeed;
Forbid the victims unreveng'd to die,
And doom the author of their wrongs to bleed.
With hasty step, enrag'd, I homewards ran ;
Curfe on my speed! th' unerring tube I brought;
That fatal hour my date of woe began,
Too fharp to tell, too horrible for thought!
Difaft'rous deed! irrevocable ill!
How fhall I tell the anguish of my fate! Teach me, remorseless monsters, not to feel, Inftru&t me, fiends and furies, to relate!
Wrathful behind the guilty fhade I stole,
I rais'd the tube-the clamorous woods refoundToo late I saw the idol of my foul,
Struck by my aim, fall fhrieking to the ground!
No other blifs her foul allow'd but me;
(Hapless the pair that thus indulgent prove!) She fought concealment from a fhady tree,
In amorous filence to obferve her love.
I ran; but O! too, foon I found it true!
From her ftain'd breaft life's crimson ftream'd apace;
From her wan eyes the fparkling luftres flew;
The fhort-liv'd rofes faded from her face!
Gods! could I bear that fond reproachful look,
'That ftrove her peerless innocence to plead !
But partial death awhile her tongue forfook,
To fave a wretch that doom'd himself to bleed.
While I, distracted, prefs'd her in my arms,
And fondly ftrove t' imbibe her latest breath;
O fpare, rafh love!' fhe cry'd,thy fatal charms,
Nor feek cold fhelter in the arms of death.
• Content beneath thy erring hand I die!
Our fates grew envious of a blifs so true;
Then urge not thy diftrefs when low I lie,
But in this breath receive my last adieu !'
No more fhe spake, but droop'd her lily head!
In death fhe ficken'd-breathlefs-haggard-pale! While all my inmoft foul with horror bled,
And afk'd kind vengeance from the paffing gale.
Where slept your bolts, ye lingering lightnings fay!
Why riv'd ye not this self-condemned breast!
Or why, too paffive Earth, didft thou delay!
To ftretch thy jaws, and crush me into rest?
Low in the duft the beauteous corfe I plac'd,
Bedew'd and foft with many a falling tear
With fable yew the rifing turf I grac'd,
And bade the cypress mourn in filence near.
Oft as bright morn's all-searching eye returns,
Full to my view the fatal fpot is brought;
Thro' fleepless night my haunted spirit mourns,
No gloom can hide me from distracting thought.
When, spotless victim, fhall my form decay!:
This guilty load, fay, when fhall I refign!
When shall my spirit wing her chearless way,
And my cold corfe lie treasur'd up with thine!
IN ENGLAND, TO ZARA AT HIS FATHER'S COURT.
WRITTEN IN THE YEAR M DCC XLIX.
PRINCES, my fair, unfortunately great,
Born to the pompous vaffalage of state,
Whene'er the publick calls, are doom'd to fly
Domeftick blifs, and break the private tie;
Fame pays with empty breath the toils they bear,
And Love's foft joys are chang'd for glorious care
Yet confcious Virtue, in the filent hour,
Rewards the hero with a noble dow'r :
For this alone I dar'd the roaring fea,
Yet more- -for this I dar'd to part with thee!
But while my bofom feels the nobler flame,
Still unreprov'd, it owns thy gentler claim,
Tho' Virtue's awful form my
'Tis thine, thine only, Zara, that it loves!
A private lot had made the claim but one,
The prince alone muft love for virtue fhun.
Ah! why diftinguish'd from the happier crowd,
To me the blifs of millions difallow'd ?
Why was I fingled for imperial fway,
Since love and duty point a different way?
Fix'd the dread voyage, and the day decreed,
When, duty's victim, love was doom'd to bleed;
Too well my mem'ry can thefe fcenes renew,
We met to figh, to weep our laft adieu.
That confcious palm, beneath whofe tow'ring fhade
So oft our vows of mutual love were made;
Where hope so oft anticipated joy,
And plann❜d, of future years, the best employ ;
That palm was witness to the tears we shed,
When that fond hope, and all those joys were fled.
Thy trembling lips, with trembling lips I prefs'd,
And held thee panting to my panting breaft:
Our forrow, grown too mighty to sustain,
Now fnatch'd us, fainting, from the sense of pain.
Together finking in the trance divine,
I caught thy fleeting foul, and gave thee mine!
O blefs'd oblivion of tormenting care!
O why recall'd to life and to defpair!
The dreadful fummons came, to part-and why?
Why not the kinder fummons, but to die?
To die together, were to part no more,
To land in fafety on fome peaceful fhore,
Where love's the bufinefs of immortal life,
And happy fpirits only guefs at ftrife.
If in fome diftant land my princé fhould find Some nymph more fair,' you cry'd, Mysterious doubt! which could at once impart
Relief to mine, and anguifh to thy heart.
Still let me triumph in the fear exprefs'd,
The voice of love that whisper'd in thy breaft:
Nor call me cruel; for my truth fhall prove
'Twas but the vain anxiety of love.
Torn from thy fond embrace, the ftrand I gain,
Where mourning friends inflict fuperfluous pain;
My father there his ftruggling fighs fupprefs'd,
And, in dumb anguish, clafp'd me to his breast;
Then fought (conceal'd the conflict of his mind)
To give the fortitude he could not find;
Each life-taught precept kindly he renew'd,
Thy country's good,' said he, be still purfu'd!
If, when the gracious gods my fon restore,
These eyes shall fleep in death, to wake no more;
• If then these limbs, that now in age decay,
• Shall mould'ring mix with earth's parental clay;
• Round my green tomb perform the facred rite,
Affume my throne, and let thy yoke be light;
From lands of freedom glorious precepts bring,
And reign at once a father and a king!'
How vainly proud the arrogantly great
Presume to boast a monarch's godlike ftate!
Subject, alike, the peafant and the king,
To life's dark ills, and care's corroding fting,
From guilt and fraud, that ftrike in filence fure,
No fhield can guard us, and no arms fecure :
By thefe, my fair, fubdu'd, thy prince was loft,
A naked captive on a barb'rous coaft!
Nurtur'd in eafe, a thousand fervants round,
My wants prevented, and my wifhes crown'd,
No painful labours ftretch'd the tedious day,
On downy feet my moments danc'd away.
Where'er I look'd, officious courtiers bow'd,
Where'er I pafs'd, a fhouting people croud;
No fears intruded on the joys I knew ;
Each man my friend, my lovely mistress you!