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TO THE COUNTESS OF DORSET,

WRITTEN IN HER MILTON, BY MR. BRADBURY.

SEE here how bright the first-born virgin shone,
And how the first fond lover was undone.
Such charming words our beauteous mother spoke,
As Milton wrote, and such as yours her look.
Yours, the best copy of th' original face,
Whose beauty was to furnish all the race:
Such chains no author could escape but he ;
There's no way to be safe, but not to see.

TO THE LADY DURSLEY: 1

ON THE SAME SUBJECT.

HERE reading how fond Adam was betray'd,
And how by sin Eve's blasted charms decay’d;
Our common loss unjustly you complain;
So small that part of it, which you sustain.
You still, fair mother, in your offspring trace

1 Elizabeth, daughter of Baptist Noel, Wiscount Campden. She died 30 July, 1719. Her husband, Charles Earl of Berkeley (when Lord Dursley), had been envoy extraordinary and plenipotentiary to the States of Holland, from whence he returned in 1695.

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The stock of beauty destin'd for the race:
Kind nature, forming them, the pattern took
For Heav'n's first work, and Eve's original look.
You, happy saint, the serpent's power control:
Scarce any actual guilt defiles your soul:
And hell does o'er that mind vain triumph boast,
Which gains a Heav'n, for earthly Eden lost.
With virtue strong as yours had Eve been arm’d,
In vain the fruit had blush'd, or serpent charm'd:
Nor had our bliss by penitence been bought;
Nor had frail Adam fall'n, nor Milton wrote.

TO MY I,ORD BUCKHURST.1
VERY YOUNG, PLAYING WITH A CAT.

THE am’rous youth, whose tender breast
Was by his darling cat possest,
Obtain'd of Venus his desire,
Howe'er irregular his fire:
Nature the pow'r of love obey'd:
The cat became a blushing maid;
And, on the happy change, the boy
Employ'd his wonder, and his joy.
Take care, O beauteous child, take care,
Lest thou prefer so rash a pray’r:

1 Lionel, afterwards Duke of Dorset, to whom Prior dedi cated his poems.

Nor vainly hope, the queen of love
Will e'er thy favorite's charms improve.
O quickly from her shrine retreat;
Or tremble for thy darling's fate.
The queen of love, who soon will see
Her own Adonis live in thee,
Will lightly her first loss deplore;
Will easily forgive the boar:
Her eyes with tears no more will flow;
With jealous rage her breast will glow:
And on her tabby rival's face
She deep will mark her new disgrace.

AN ODE.

WHILE from our looks, fair nymph, you guess
The secret passions of our mind,

My heavy eyes, you say, confess
A heart to love and grief inclin'd.

There needs, alas! but little art,
To have this fatal secret found:

With the same ease you threw the dart,
'Tis certain you may show the wound.

How can I see you, and not love;
While you as op'ning east are fair?

While cold as northern blasts you prove;
How can I love, and not despair?

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o o of PRIoR. 43

The wretch in double fetters bound
Your potent mercy may release:

Soon, if my love but once were crown'd,
Fair prophetess, my grief would cease.

A SONG.

IN vain you tell your parting lover

You wish fair winds may waft him over.
Alas! what winds can happy prove,

That bear me far from what I love?
Alas! what dangers on the main
Can equal those that I sustain,
From slighted vows, and cold disdain?
Be gentle, and in pity choose
To wish the wildest tempests loose:
That, thrown again upon the coast,
Where first my shipwreck'd heart was lost,
I may once more repeat my pain;
Once more in dying notes complain
Of slighted vows, and cold disdain.

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THE DESPAIRING SHEPHERD.

ALExIs shunn’d his fellow swains,
Their rural sports, and jocund strains,
(Heav'n guard us all from Cupid’s bow !)
He lost his crook, he left his flocks;
And wand'ring through the lonely rocks,
He nourish’d endless woe.

The nymphs and shepherds round him came :
His grief some pity, others blame;
The fatal cause all kindly seek:
He mingled his concern with theirs;
He gave 'em back their friendly tears;
He sigh'd, but would not speak.

Clorinda came among the rest;
And she too kind concern express'd,
And ask'd the reason of his woe:
She ask'd, but with an air and mien,
That made it easily foreseen,
She fear'd too much to know.

The shepherd rais'd his mournful head;
And will you pardon me, he said,
While I the cruel truth reveal;
Which nothing from my breast should tear;
Which never should offend your ear,
But that you bid me tell?

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