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The well-turn'd neck and shoulders he descries,
The spacious forehead, and the sparkling eyes ;
The hands that Bacchus might not scorn to show,
And hair that round Apollo's head might flow ;
With all the purple youthfulness of face,
That gently blushes in the wat’ry glass.
By his own flames consum'd the lover lies,
And gives himself the wound by which he dies.
To the cold water oft he joins his lips,
Oft catching at the beauteous shade he dips
His arms, as often from himself he slips.
Nor knows he who it is his arms pursue
With eager clasps, but loves he knows not who.
What could, fond youth, this helpless passion move ?
What kindled in thee this unpity'd love ?
Thy own warm blush within the water glows,
With thee the colour'd shadow comes and goes,
Its empty being on thyself relies ;
Step thou aside, and the frail charmer dies.
Still o'er the fountain's wat'ry gleam he stood,
Mindless of sleep, and negligent of food ;
Still view'd his face, and languifh'd as he view'd.
At length he rais’d his head, and thus began
To vent his griefs, and tell the woods his pain.
“ You trees, says he, and thou surrounding grove,
“ Who oft have been the kindly scenes of love,
“ Tell me, if e'er within your shades did lie
“ A youth fo tortur'd, fo perplex'd as I?
« I, who
“ I, who before me see the charming fair, “ Whilst there he stands, and yet he stands not there: • In such a maze of love my thoughts are 'oit : “ And yet no bulwark'd town, nor distant coast, “ Preserves the beauteous youth from being seen, “ N mountains rise, nor oceans flow between. " A shallow water hinders my embrace ;u!"," “ And yet the lovely mimic wears a face “ That kindly smiles, and when I bend to join
My lips to his, he fəndly bends to mine. “ Hear, gentle youth, and pity my complaint, “ Come from thy well, thou fair inhabitant. “ My charms an easy conquest have obtained “ O'er other hearts, by thee alone disdain’d. “ But why should I despair ? I'm sure he burns “ With equal Aames, and languishes by turns. “ Whene’er I stoop, he offers at a kiss, “ And when my arms I stretch, he stretches his. “ His eyes with pleasure on my face he keeps, “ He smiles my smiles, and when I weep
weeps. “ Whene'er I speak, his moving lips appear “ To utter something which I cannot hear.
“ Ah wretched me! I now begin too late “ To find out all the long-perplex'd deceit ; “ It is myself I love, myself I see ; ". The
delusion is of me. “ I kindle up the fires by which I burn, And my own beauties from the well return.
" Whom should I court ? how utter my complaint ?
“ Enjoyment but produces my restraint,
“ And too much plenty makes me die for want.
“ How gladly would I from myself remove !
“ And at a distance set the thing I love.
“ My breast is warm’d with such unusual fire,
" I wish him absent whom I most desire.
“ And now I faint with grief; my fate draws nigh ;
“ In all the pride of blooming youth I die :
“ Death will the forrows of my heart relieve.
“ Oh might the visionary youth survive,
“ I should with joy my latest breath resign!
" But oh! I fee his fate involved in mine."
This said, the weeping youth again return'd
To the clear fountain, where again he burn'd;
His tears defac'd the surface of the well,
With circle after circle, as they fell :
And now the lovely face but half appears,
O’er-run with wrinkles, and deform'd with tears.
« Ah whither, cries Narcissus, doft thou fly?
“ Let me still feed the flame by which I die ;
" Let me still fee, tho' I'm no further bleft."
Then rends his garment off, and beats his breast;
His naked bosom redden'd with the blow,
In such a blush as purple clusters thow,
Ere yet the sun's autumnal heats refine
Their sprightly juice, and mellow it to wine.
The glowing beauties of his breast he spies,
And with a new redoubled passion dies.
As wax diffolves, as ice begins to run,
And trickle into drops before the sun,
So melts the youth, and languishes away :
His beauty withers, and his limbs decay,
And none of those attractive charms remain,
To which the flighted echo fu’d in vain.
She faw him in his present misery,
Whom, spite of all her wrongs, she griev'd to see.
She answer'd sadly to the lover's moan,
Sigh'd back his fighs, and groan’d to ev'ry groan:
“ Ah youth! belov’d in vain,” Narcissus cries ;
Ah youth! belov'd in vain," the nymph replies.
“ Farewel,” says he; the parting found scarce fell
From his faint lips, but she reply'd, “ Farewel.”
Then on th' unwholfome earth he gasping lies,
Till death shuts up those felf-admiring eyes.
To the cold shades his flitting ghost retires,
And in the Stygian waves itself admires.
For him the Naiads and the Dryads mourn,
Whom the sad echo answers in her turn ;
And now the sister nymphs prepare his urn:
When, looking for his corps, they only found
A rising stalk, with yellow blofioms crown'd.
Nor let him then enjoy supreme command;
But fall untimely, by some hostile hand :
And lie unbury'd on the barren sand.
These are my pray’rs, and this my dying will:
And you, my Tyrians, ev'ry curse fulfil.
Perpetual hate, and mortal wars proclaim,
Against the prince, the people, and the name.
These grateful off'rings op my grave bestow ;
Nor league, nor love, the hostile nations know :
Now, and from hence in ev'ry future age,
When rage excites your arms, and strength supplies
Rise some avenger of our Lybian blood,
With fire and sword pursue the perjur'd brood:
Our arms, our seas, our shores, oppos’d to theirs,
And the same hate descend on all our heirs.
This said, within her anxious mind she weighs
The means of cutting short her odious days.
Then to Sichæus' nurse she briefly said,
(For when the left her country, hers was dead)
Go Barce, call my filter; let her care
The folemn rites of sacrifice prepare :
The sheep, and all th' atoneing off'rings bring;
Sprinkling her body from the crystal spring
With living drops: then let her come, and thou
With sacred fillets bind thy hoary brow.
Thus, will I pay my vows to Stygian Jove;
And end the cares of my disastrous love.