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See, how beneath yon hillock's shady steep,
The shelter'd herds on flowery couches sleep:
Nor bees, nor herds, are half so blest as I,
If with my fond desires my love comply;
From Delia's lips a sweeter honey flows,
And on her bosom dwells more soft repose.
"Ah! how, my dear, shall I deserve thy charms?
What gift can bribe thee to my longing arms?
A bird for thee in silken bands I hold,
Whose yellow plumage shines like polish'd gold;
From distant isles the lovely stranger came,
And bears the fortunate Canaries' name;
In all our woods none boasts so sweet a note,
Not even the nightingale's melodious throat.
Accept of this; and could I add beside
What wealth the rich Peruvian mountains hide:
If all the gems in eastern rocks were mine,
On thee alone their glittering pride should shine.
But, if thy mind no gifts have power to move,
Phoebus himself shall leave th' Aonian grove:
The tuneful Nine, who never sue in vain,
Shall come sweet suppliants for their favorite
For him each blue-ey'd Naiad of the flood,
For him each green-hair'd sister of the wood,
Whom oft beneath fair Cynthia's gentle ray
His music calls to dance the night away.
And you, fair nymphs, companions of my love,
With whom she joys the cowslip meads to rove,
I beg you recommend my faithful flame,
And let her often hear her shepherd's name:
Shade all my faults from her inquiring sight,
And show my merits in the fairest light:
My pipe your kind assistance shall repay,
And every friend shall claim a different lay.
"But see! in yonder glade the heavenly fair
Enjoys the fragrance of the breezy air-
Ah, thither let me fly with eager feet;
Adieu, my pipe; I go my love to meet-
O, may I find her as we parted last,
And may each future hour be like the past! So shall the whitest lamb these pastures feed, Propitious Venus, on thy altars bleed.
TO MR. EDWARD WALPOLE.
THE gods, O Walpole, give no bliss sincere ;
Wealth is disturb'd by care, and power by fear:
Of all the passions that employ the mind,
In gentle love the sweetest joys we find :
Yet ev'n those joys dire Jealousy molests,
And blackens each fair image in our breasts.
O may the warmth of thy too tender heart
Ne'er feel the sharpness of his venom'd dart!
For thy own quiet, think thy mistress just,
And wisely take thy happiness on trust.
Begin, my Muse, and Damon's woes rehearse, In wildest numbers and disorder'd verse.
On a romantic mountain's airy head (While browsing goats at ease around him fed) Anxious he lay, with jealous cares opprest; Distrust and anger laboring in his breastThe vale beneath a pleasing prospect yields Of verdant meads and cultivated fields; Through these a river rolls its winding flood, Adorn'd with various tufts of rising wood;
Here, half-conceal'd in trees, a cottage stands,
A castle there the opening plain commands;
Beyond, a town with glittering spires is crown'd,
And distant hills the wide horizon bound:
So charming was the scene, awhile the swain
Beheld delighted, and forgot his pain:
But soon the stings infix'd within his heart
With cruel force renew'd their raging smart:
His flowery wreath, which long with pride he wore,
The gift of Delia, from his brows he tore,
Then cried, "May all thy charms, ungrateful maid,
Like these neglected roses, droop and fade!
May angry Heaven deform each guilty grace,
That triumphs now in that deluding face!
Those alter'd looks may every shepherd fly,
And ev'n thy Daphnis hate thee worse than I!
"Say, thou inconstant, what has Damon done,
To lose the heart his tedious pains had won?
Tell me what charms you in my rival find,
Against whose power no ties have strength to bind?
Has he, like me, with long obedience strove
To conquer your disdain, and merit love?
Has he with transport every smile ador'd,
And died with grief at each ungentle word?
Ah, no! the conquest was obtain'd with ease;
He pleas'd you, by not studying to please:
His careless indolence your pride alarm'd;
And, had he lov'd you more, he less had charm'd.
O pain to think! another shall possess
Those balmy lips which I was wont to press :
Another on her panting breast shall lie,
And catch sweet madness from her swimming eye!
I saw their friendly flocks together feed,
I saw them hand in hand walk o'er the mead:
Would my clos'd eye had sunk in endless night,
Ere I was doom'd to bear that hateful sight!
Where'er they pass'd, be blasted every flower,
And hungry wolves their helpless flocks devour!—
Ah, wretched swain, could no examples move
Thy heedless heart to shun the rage of love?
Hast thou not heard how poor Menalcas died
A victim to Parthenia's fatal pride?
Dear was the youth to all the tuneful plain,
Lov'd by the nymphs, by Phoebus lov'd in vain :
Around his tomb their tears the Muses paid; ⚫
And all things mourn'd, but the relentless maid.
Would I could die like him, and be at peace!
These torments in the quiet grave would cease;
There my vex'd thoughts a calm repose would find,
And rest, as if my Delia still were kind.
No, let me live, her falsehood to upbraid:
Some god perhaps my just revenge will aid.-
Alas! what aid, fond swain, wouldst thou receive?
Could thy heart bear to see its Delia grieve?
Protect her, Heaven! and let her never know
The slightest part of hapless Damon's woe:
I ask no vengeance from the powers above;
All I implore is never more to love.-
Let me this fondness from my bosom tear,
Let me forget that e'er I thought her fair.
Come, cool Indifference, and heal my breast;
Wearied, at length, I seek thy downy rest:
No turbulence of passion shall destroy
My future ease with flattering hopes of joy.
Hear, mighty Pan, and, all ye sylvans, hear
What by your guardian deities I swear;
No more my eyes shall view her fatal charme,
No more I'll court the traitress to my arms:
Not all her arts my steady soul shall move,
And she shall find that reason conquers love!".
Scarce had he spoke, when through the lawn below On all her days let health and peace attend;
Alone he saw the beauteous Delia go;
At once transported, he forgot his vow,
(Such perjuries the laughing gods allow!)
Down the steep hills with ardent haste he flew; He found her kind, and soon believ'd her true.
COBHAM, to thee this rural lay I bring,
Whose guiding judgment gives me skill to sing :
Though far unequal to those polish'd strains,
With which thy Congreve charm'd the listening
Yet shall its music please thy partial ear,
And soothe thy breast with thoughts that once were dear;
Recall those years which Time has thrown behind,
When smiling Love with Honor shar'd thy mind:
When all thy glorious days of prosperous fight
Delighted less than one successful night.
The sweet remembrance shall thy youth restore,
Fancy again shall run past pleasures o'er;
And, while in Stowe's enchanting walks you stray,
This theme may help to cheat the summer's day.
Beneath the covert of a myrtle wood,
To Venus rais'd, a rustic altar stood.
To Venus and to Hymen, there combin'd,
In friendly league to favor human-kind.
With wanton Cupids, in that happy shade,
The gentle Virtues and mild Wisdom play'd.
Nor there in sprightly Pleasure's genial train,
Lurk'd sick Disgust, or late-repenting Pain,
Nor Force, nor Interest, join'd unwilling hands,
But Love consenting tied the blissful bands.
Thither, with glad devotion, Damon came,
To thank the powers who bless'd his faithful flame:
Two milk-white doves he on their altar laid,
And thus to both his grateful homage paid:
"Hail, bounteous god! before whose hallow'd shrine
My Delia vow'd to be for ever mine,
While, glowing in her cheeks, with tender love,
Sweet virgin-modesty reluctant strove!
And hail to thee, fair queen of young desires!
Long shall my heart preserve thy pleasing fires,
Since Delia now can all its warmth return,
As fondly languish, and as fiercely burn.
"O the dear bloom of last propitious night!
O shade more charming than the fairest light!
'Then in my arms I clasp'd the melting maid,
Then all my pains one moment overpaid;
Then first the sweet excess of bliss I prov'd,
Which none can taste but who like me have lov'd.
Thou too, bright goddess, once, in Ida's grove,
Didst not disdain to meet a shepherd's love;
With him, while frisking lambs around you play'd,
Conceal'd you sported in the secret shade:
Scarce could Anchises' raptures equal mine,
And Delia's beauties only yield to thine.
May she ne'er want, nor ever lose, a friend! May some new pleasure every hour employ: But let her Damon be her highest joy!
In the same field our mingled flocks we'll feed,
To the same spring our thirsty heifers lead,
Together will we share the harvest toils,
Together press the vine's autumnal spoils.
Delightful state, where Peace and Love combine,
To bid our tranquil days unclouded shine!
Here limpid fountains roll through flowery meads;
Here rising forests lift their verdant heads;
Here let me wear my careless life away,
And in thy arms insensibly decay.
"When late old age our heads shall silver o'er
And our slow pulses dance with joy no more;
When Time no longer will thy beauties spare,
And only Damon's eye shall think thee fair;
Then may the gentle hand of welcome Death,
At one soft stroke, deprive us both of breath!
May we beneath one common stone be laid,
And the same cypress both our ashes shade!
Perhaps some friendly Muse, in tender verse
Shall deign our faithful passion to rehearse
And future ages, with just envy mov'd,
Be told how Damon and his Delia lov'd."
TO THE REVEREND DR. AYSCOUGH,
SAY, dearest friend, how roll thy hours away?
What pleasing study cheats the tedious day?
Dost thou the sacred volumes oft explore
Of wise Antiquity's immortal lore,
Where virtue, by the charms of wit refin'd,
At once exalts and polishes the mind?
How different from our modern guilty art,
Which pleases only to corrupt the heart;
Whose curst refinements odious vice adorn,
And teach to honor what we ought to scorn!
Dost thou in sage historians joy to see
How Roman greatness rose with liberty:
How the same hands that tyrants durst control
Their empire stretch'd from Atlas to the Pole;
Till wealth and conquest into slaves refin'd
The proud luxurious masters of mankind?
Dost thou in letter'd Greece each charm admire,
Each grace, each virtue, Freedom could inspire;
Yet in her troubled state see all the woes,
And all the crimes, that giddy faction knows;
Till, rent by parties, by corruption sold,
Or weakly careless, or too rashly bold,
She sunk beneath a mitigated doom,
The slave and tutoress of protecting Rome?
Does calm Philosophy her aid impart,
To guide the passions, and to mend the heart?
"What are ye now, my once most valued joys? Taught by her precepts, hast thou learnt the end Insipid trifles all, and childish toysFriendship itself ne'er knew a charm like this, Nor Colin's talk could please like Delia's kiss. "Ye Muses, skill'd in every winning art, Teach me more deeply to engage her heart; Ye nymphs, to her your freshest roses bring, And crown her with the pride of all the Spring:
To which alone the wise their studies bend;
For which alone by Nature were design'd
The powers of thought-to benefit mankind?
Not, like a cloister'd drone, to read and doze,
In undeserving, undeserv'd, repose;
But reason's influence to diffuse; to clear
Th' enlighten'd world of every gloomy fear;
Dispel the mists of error, and unbind
Those pedant chains that clog the free-born mind.
Happy who thus his leisure can employ!
He knows the purest hours of tranquil joy;
Nor vext with pangs that busier bosoms tear,
Nor lost to social virtue's pleasing care;
Safe in the port, yet laboring to sustain
Those who still float on the tempestuous main.
So Locke the days of studious quiet spent ;
So Boyle in wisdom found divine content;
So Cambray, worthy of a happier doom,
The virtuous slave of Louis and of Rome.
Where ev'n mute walls are taught to flatter state,
And painted triumphs style Ambition GREAT.
With more delight those pleasing shades I view
Where Condé from an envious court withdrew;t
Where, sick of glory, faction, power, and pride,
(Sure judge how empty all, who all had tried!)
Beneath his palms the weary chief repos'd,
And life's great scene in quiet virtue clos'd.
With shame that other fam'd retreat I see,
Adorn'd by art, disgrac'd by luxury:
Where Orleans wasted every vacant hour,
In the wild riot of unbounded power;
Good Wor'ster* thus supports his drooping age, Where feverish debauch and impious love
Far from court-flattery, far from party-rage;
He, who in youth a tyrant's frown defied,
Firm and intrepid on his country's side,
Stain'd the mad table and the guilty grove.
With these amusements is thy friend detain'd, Pleas'd and instructed in a foreign land;
Her boldest champion then, and now her mildest Yet oft a tender wish recalls my mind
O generous warmth! O sanctity divine!
To emulate his worth, my friend, be thine:
Learn from his life the duties of the gown;
Learn, not to flatter, nor insult the crown;
Nor, basely servile, court the guilty great,
Nor raise the church a rival to the state:
To error mild, to vice alone severe,
Seek not to spread the law of love by fear.
The priest who plagues the world can never mend:
No foe to man was e'er to God a friend.
Let reason and let virtue faith maintain;
All force but theirs is impious, weak, and vain.
Me other cares in other climes engage,
Cares that become my birth, and suit my age;
In various knowledge to improve my youth,
And conquer prejudice, worst foe to truth;
By foreign arts domestic faults to mend,
Enlarge my notions, and my views extend;
The useful science of the world to know,
Which books can never teach, or pedants show.
A nation here I pity and admire,
Whom noblest sentiments of glory fire,
Yet taught, by custom's force and bigot fear,
To serve with pride, and boast the yoke they bear:
Whose nobles, born to cringe and to command,
(In courts a mean, in camps a generous band,)
From each low tool of power, content receive
Those laws, their dreaded arms to Europe give.
Whose people (vain in want, in bondage blest;
Though plunder'd, gay; industrious, though opprest)
With happy follies rise above their fate,
The jest and envy of each wiser state.
Yet here the Muses deign'd awhile to sport
In the short sun-shine of a favoring court;
Here Boileau, strong in sense and sharp in wit,
Who, from the ancients, like the ancients writ,
Permission gain'd inferior vice to blame,
By flattering incense to his master's fame.
Here Moliere, first of comic wits, excell'd
Whate'er Athenian theatres beheld;
By keen, yet decent, satire skill'd to please,
With morals mirth uniting, strength with ease.
Now, charm'd, I hear the bold Corneille inspire
Heroic thoughts, with Shakspeare's force and fire!
Now sweet Racine, with milder influence, move
The soften'd heart to pity and to love.
With mingled pain and pleasure, I survey
The pompous works of arbitrary sway;
Proud palaces, that drain'd the subjects' store,
Rais'd on the ruins of th' opprest and poor;
From present joys to dearer left behind.
O native isle, fair Freedom's happiest seat!
At thought of thee, my bounding pulses beat;
At thought of thee, my heart impatient burns,
And all my country on my soul returns.
When shall I see thy fields, whose plenteous grain
No power can ravish from th' industrious swain?
When kiss, with pious love, the sacred earth
That gave a Burleigh or a Russell birth?
When, in the shade of laws, that long have stood,
Propt by their care, or strengthen'd by their blood
Of fearless independence wisely vain,
The proudest slave of Bourbon's race disdain?
Yet, oh! what doubt, what sad presaging voice,
Whispers within, and bids me not rejoice;
Bids me contemplate every state around,
From sultry Spain to Norway's icy bound;
Bids their lost rights, their ruin'd glory see:
And tells me, "These, like England, once were free!
THE heavy hours are almost past
That part my love and me:
My longing eyes may hope at last
Their only wish to see.
But how, my Delia, will you meet The man you've lost so long? Will love in all your pulses beat, And tremble on your tongue?
Will you in every look declare
Your heart is still the same; And heal each idly-anxious care Our fears in absence frame?
Thus, Delia, thus I paint the scene,
When shortly we shall meet;
And try what yet remains between
Of loitering time to cheat.
But, if the dream that soothes my mind
Shall false and groundless prove;
If I am doom'd at length to find
You have forgot to love:
All I of Venus ask, is this;
No more to let us join:
But grant me here the flattering bliss, To die, and think you mine.
SAY, Myra, why is gentle love
A stranger to that mind,
Which pity and esteem can move, Which can be just and kind?
Is it, because you fear to share
The ills that love molest;
The jealous doubt, the tender care,
That rack the amorous breast?
Alas! by some degree of woe
We every bliss must gain :
The heart can ne'er a transport know, That never feels a pain.
THE FIRST LADY LYTTELTON.
Ipse cavà solans ægrum testudine amorem,
Te dulcis conjux, te solo in littore secum,
Te veniente die, te decedente canebat.
AT length escap'd from every human eye,
From every duty, every care,
That in my mournful thoughts might claim a share,
Or force my tears their flowing stream to dry;
Beneath the gloom of this embowering shade,
This lone retreat, for tender sorrow made,
I now may give my burden'd heart relief,
And pour forth all my stores of grief;
Of grief surpassing every other woe,
Far as the purest bliss, the happiest love
Can on th' ennobled mind bestow,
Exceeds the vulgar joys that move
Our gross desires, inelegant and low.
Ye tufted groves, ye gently-falling rills,
Ye high o'ershadowing hills,
Ye lawns gay-smiling with eternal green,
Oft have you my Lucy seen!
But never shall you now behold her more:
Nor will she now with fond delight
And taste refin'd your rural charms explore.
Clos'd are those beauteous eyes in endless night,
Those beauteous eyes where beaming us'd to shine
Reason's pure light and Virtue's spark divine.
Oft would the Dryads of these woods rejoice
To hear her heavenly voice;
For her despising, when she deign'd to sing,
The sweetest songsters of the spring:
The woodlark and the linnet pleas'd no more;
The nightingale was mute,
And every shepherd's flute
Was cast in silent scorn away,
While all attended to her sweeter lay.
Ye larks and linnets, now resume your song,
And thou, melodious Philomel,
Again thy plaintive story tell;
For Death has stopt that tuneful tongue,
Whose music could alone your warbling notes excel
O shades of Hagley, where is now your boast?
Your bright inhabitant is lost.
You she preferr'd to all the gay resorts
Where female vanity might wish to shine,
The pomp of cities, and the pride of courts.
Her modest beauties shunn'd the public eye:
To your sequester'd dales
And flower-embroider'd vales
From an admiring world she chose to fly :
With Nature there retir'd, and Nature's God,
The silent paths of wisdom trod,
And banish'd every passion from her breast,
But those, the gentlest and the best,
Whose holy flames with energy divine
The virtuous heart enliven and improve,
The conjugal and the maternal love.
Sweet babes, who, like the little playful fawns,
Were wont to trip along these verdant lawns
By your delighted mother's side,
Who now your infant steps shall guide?
Ah! where is now the hand whose tender care To every virtue would have form'd your youth, And strew'd with flowers the thorny ways of truth?
O loss beyond repair!
O wretched father! left alone,
To weep their dire misfortune, and thy own!
How shall thy weaken'd mind, oppress'd with woe,
And drooping o'er thy Lucy's grave,
Perform the duties that you doubly owe!
Now she, alas! is gone,
From folly and from vice their helpless age to save?
Where were ye, Muses, when relentless Fate
From these fond arms your fair disciple tore;
From these fond arms, that vainly strove
With hapless ineffectual love
To guard her bosom from the mortal blow?
Could not your favoring power, Aonian
Could not, alas! your power prolong her date, For whom so oft in these inspiring shades, Or under Camden's moss-clad mountains hoar, You open'd all your sacred store, Whate'er your ancient sages taught, Your ancient bards sublimely thought, And bade her raptur'd breast with all your spirit glow?
Nor then did Pindus or Castalia's plain,
Or Aganippe's fount your steps detain,
Nor in the Thespian valleys did you play;
Nor then on Mincio's bank*
Beset with osiers dank,
Nor where Clitumnust rolls his gentle stream,
Nor where through hanging woods,
Steep Aniot pours his floods,
Nor yet where Meles or Ilissus || stray.
Ill does it now beseem,
That, of your guardian care bereft,
To dire disease and death your darling should be left.
Now what avails it that in early bloom, When light fantastic toys
Are all her sex's joys,
With you she search'd the wit of Greece and
And all that in her latter days
To emulate her ancient praise
Italia's happy genius could produce;
Or what the Gallic fire
Bright sparkling could inspire,
By all the Graces temper'd and refin'd;
Or what in Britain's isle,
Most favor'd with your smile,
The powers of Reason and of Fancy join'd
To full perfection have conspir'd to raise ?
Ah! what is now the use
Of all these treasures that enrich'd her mind, To black Oblivion's gloom for ever now consign'd.
*The Mincio runs by Mantua, the birth-place of Virgil. The Clitumnus is a river of Umbria, the residence of Propertius.
The Anio runs through Tibur or Tivoli, where Hor. ace had a villa.
§ The Meles is a river of Ionia, from whence Homer, supposed to be born on its banks, is called Melisigenes. The Ilissus is a river at Athens.
At least, ye Nine, her spotless name
"Tis yours from Death to save,
And in the temple of immortal. Fame
With golden characters her worth engrave.
Come then, ye virgin-sisters, come,
And strew with choicest flowers her hallow'd tomb
But foremost thou, in sable vestment clad,
With accents sweet and sad,
Thou, plaintive Muse, whom o'er his Laura's urn
Unhappy Petrarch call'd to mourn;
O come, and to this fairer Laura pay
A more impassion'd tear, a more pathetic lay.
Tell how each beauty of her mind and face
Was brighten'd by some sweet peculiar grace!
How eloquent in every look
Through her expressive eyes her soul distinctly spoke!
Tell how her manners, by the world refin'd,
Left all the taint of modish vice behind,
And made each charm of polish'd courts agree
With candid Truth's simplicity,
And uncorrupted Innocence!
Tell how to more than manly sense
She join'd the softening influence
Of more than female tenderness:
How, in the thoughtless days of wealth and joy,
Which oft the care of others' good destroy,
Her kindly-melting heart,
To every want and every woe,
To guilt itself when in distress,
The balm of pity would impart,
And all relief that bounty could bestow!
Ev'n for the kid or lamb that pour'd its life
Beneath the bloody knife,
Her gentle tears would fall,
Tears from sweet Virtue's source, benevolent to all.
Not only good and kind,
But strong and elevated was her mind :
A spirit that with noble pride
Could look superior down
On Fortune's smile or frown;
That could without regret or pain
To Virtue's lowest duty sacrifice
Or Interest or Ambition's highest prize;
That, injur'd or offended, never tried
Its dignity by vengeance to maintain,
But by magnanimous disdain.
A wit that, temperately bright,
With inoffensive light
All pleasing shone; nor ever past
The decent bounds that Wisdom's sober hand,
And sweet Benevolence's mild command,
And bashful Modesty, before it cast.
A prudence undeceiving, undeceiv'd,
That nor too little nor too much believ'd,
That scorn'd unjust Suspicion's coward fear;
And without weakness knew to be sincere.
Such Lucy was, when, in her fairest days,
Amidst th' acclaim of universal praise,
In life's and glory's freshest bloom,
Death came remorseless on, and sunk her to the tomb
So, where the silent streams of Liris glide,
In the soft bosom of Campania's vale,
When now the wintry tempests all are fled,
And genial Summer breathes her gentle gale,
The verdant orange lifts its beauteous head:
From every branch the balmy flowerets rise
On every bough the golden fruits are seen.