Page images

And whilft, reviv'd in youth, his wavy train
Floats in long fpires, and burns along the plain,
He darts malignance from his fcornful eye,
And the young flow'rs with livid hiffes die.


Let my fad face your foft compaffion move,
Convinc'd that Phaon would but cannot love:
To torture and distract my foul are join'd
Unfading youth and impotence of mind.
The white and red that flatter on my skin
Hide hell; the grinning Furies howl within;
Pride, Envy, Rage, and Hate, inhabit there,
And the black child of Guilt, extreme Despair:
Nor of lefs terror to the perjur'd prove
The frowns of Venus than the bolts of Jove.

[ocr errors]

*) Alluding to her Ode to Venus. Beisp. Samml. 6. V.

When Orpheus in the woods began to play,
Sooth'd with his airs the leopards round him lay;
Their glaring eyes with leffen'd fury burn'd;
But when the lyre was mute, their rage return'd.
So would thy Mufe and lute a while controul
My woes, and tune the difcord of my foul,
In fweet fufpenfe each favage thought reftrain'd,
And then the love I never felt I feign'd.
O Sappho now that Mufe and lute employ
Inyoke the golden goddess from the sky;
From the Leucadian rock ne'er hope redrefs;
In love Apollo boafts no fure fuccefs:
Let him prefide o'er oracles and arts;
Venus alone has balm for bleeding hearts;
O! let the warbled hymn *) delight her ear;
Can fhe when Sappho fings, refufe to hear?
Thrice let the warbled hymn repeat thy pain,
While flow'rs and burning gums perfume her fane:
And when, defcending to the plaintive found,
She comes confefs'd with all her Graces round,
O, plead my caufe! in that aufpicious hour
Propitiate with thy vows the vengeful pow'r;



Senton., Nor cease thy fuit, till with a smiling air
She cries: I give thy Phaon to thy pray'r;
,,And, from his crime abfolv'd with all his charms
"He long shall live, and die in Sappho's arms." —
Then fwift, and gentle as her gentlest dove,
I'll seek thy breaft, and equal all thy love:
Hymen fhall clap his purple wings, and spread
Inceffant raptures o'er the nuptial bed.
And while in pomp at Cytherea's fhrine
With choral fong and dance our vows we join,
Her flaming altar with religious fear

I'll touch, and, proftrate on the marble, fwear
That zeal and love for ever shall divide
My heart between the goddess and the bride.

[ocr errors]


Lord Hervey.

Von ihm stehen vier Heroiden, oder Epiftles in the Manner of Ovid, in Dodsley's Collection of Poems, Vol. IV. p. 82 ff. Sie find überschrieben: Monimia to Philocles; Flora to Pompey; Arisbe to Marius Iunior, nach dem Fontenelle; und Roxana to Philocles, nach Montesquieu's Persischen Briesen. Ich gebe hier das zweite Stück zur Probe. Pome pejus verliebte fich, in seiner frühen Jugend, in die Flora, ein schönes, aber sehr buhlerisches Frauenzimmer, deren Bildniß man, ihrer vorzüglichen Schönheit wegen, in dem römischen Tempel des Rastor und Pollur aufgestellt hatte. Geminius, ein Freund des Pompejus, wurde in der Folge gleichfalls verliebt in sie; fie gab aber diesem den Vorzug. Pompejus trat seinem Freunde seine Geliebte ab; welches diese so sehr zu Herzen nahm, daß sie in eine gefährliche Krankheit fiel; und man muß annehmen, daß sie während derselben folgenden Brief an den Pompejus geschrieben has be, der gleichfalls eine Nachahmung des Fontenelle ift.


ERE death these clofing eyes for ever shade,
(That death thy cruelties have welcome made)
Receive, thou yet lov'd man! this one adieu,
This laft farewell to happiness and you.
My eyes o'erflow with tears, my trembling hand
Can icarce the letters form, or pen command:
The dancing paper swims before my fight,
And scarce myself can read the words I write.

Think you behold me in this loft eftate,
And think yourself the autor of my fate:
How vaft the change! your Flora's now become
The gen'ral pity, not the boast of Rome.
This form, a pattern to the fculptor's art,
This face, the idol once of Pompey's heart,

[blocks in formation]

Lord Herwey.

Lob Hervey (Whofe pictur'd beauties Rome thought fit to place
The facred temples of her gods to grace)
Are charming now no more; the bloom is filed,
The lillies languid, and the rofes death.
Soon fhall fome hand the glorious work deface,
Where Grecian pencils tell what Flora was:
No longer my refeinblance they impart,
They loft their likeness, when I loft thy heart.


Oh that thofe hours could take their turn again,

When Pompey, lab'ring with a jealous pain,
His Flora thus befpoke: „Say, my dear love!
„Shall all these rivals unfuccefsful prove?
"In vain, for ever, fhall the Roman youth



Envy my happiness, and tempt thy truth?
Shall neither tears nor pray'rs thy pity move?
"Ah! give not pity, 'tis aking to love.
,,Would Flora were not fair in fuch excess,
That I might fear, tho' not adore her lefs."

Fool that I was, I fought to ease that grief,
Nor knew indiff'rence follow'd the relief:
Experience taught the cruel truth too late,
I never dreaded, till I found my fate.
'Twas mine to ask if Pompey's felf could hear,
Unmov'd, his rivals unfuccefsful pray'r;
To make thee fwear he'd not thy pity move;
Alas! fuch pity is no kin to love.


[ocr errors]

'Twas thou thyfelf (ungrateful as thou art!) Bade me unbend the rigour of my heart: You chid my faith, reproach'd my being true, (Unnat'ral thought!) and labour'd to fubdue? The conftancy my foul maintain'd for you; To other arms your mistress you condemn'd, Too cool a lover, and too warm a friend,


How could'st thou thus my lavish heart abuse, To afk the only thing it could refule?

¿ C


[ocr errors]


Nor yet upbraid me, Pompey, what I fay,
For 'tis my merit that I can't obey;
Yet this alledg'd against me as a fault,
Thy rage fomented, and my ruin wrought.
Juft gods! what tye, what conduct can prevail
O'er fickle inan, when truth like mine can fail?

Urge not, to glofs thy crime, the name of


We know, how far thofe facred laws extend;
Since other heroes have not blufh'd to prove
How weak all paffions when oppos'd to love:
Nor boast the virtuous conflict of thy heart,
When gen'rous pity took Geminius' part;
'Tis all heroic fraud, and Roman art.

Such flights of honour might amuse the crowd,
But by a mistress ne'er can be allow'd;
Keep for the fenate, and the grave debate
That infamous hypocrify of ftate;
There words are virtue, and your trade deceit.

No riddle is thy change, not hard t'explain;
Flora was fond, and Pompey was a man:
No longer then a fpecious tale pretend,
Nor plead fictitious merit to your friend
By nature falfe, you follow'd her decree,
Nor gen'rous are to him, but falfe to me.

You fay, you melted at Geminius' tears,
You fay, you felt his agonizing cares:
Grofs artifice, that this from him could move,
And not from Flora, whom you fay you love:
You could not bear to hear your rival figh,
Yet bear unmov'd to see your mistress die.
Inhuman hypocrite! not thus can he
My wrongs, and my diftrefs, obdurate, fee.
He, who receiv'd condemns the gift you made,
And joins with me the giver upbraid,
Forgetting he's oblig'd, and mourning I'm betray'd.j
He loves too well that cruel gift to ufe,
Which Pompey lov'd too little to refufe:

C 3


[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »