תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

Offer'd again the unaccepted wreath,
And choice of happy love, or instant death.

Averse to all her am'rous king deGr'd,
Far as she might, she decently retir'd:
And darting scorn, and forrow from her eyes,
What means, said she, King Solomon the wise ?:

This wretched body trembles at your-pow'i: Thus far could fortune : but she can no more, Free to herself my potent mind remains ; Nor fears the victor's rage, nor feels his chains

'Tis said that thou can't plauGbly dispute, Supreme of seers, of angel, man, and brute ; Can'st plead with subtle wit and fair discourse, Of paflion's folly, and of reason's force. That to the tribes attentive thou can'ft show Whence their misfortunes, or their blessings flow That thou in science, as in pow'r art great; And truth and honour on thy ediets wait. Where is that knowledge now, that regal thought With just advice, and timely counsel fraught? Where now,. O judge of Israel, does it rove? What in one moment dost thou offer ? love. Love? why 'tis joy. or forrow, peace or ftrife: 'l'is all the colour of remaining life : And human mis’ry must begin or end; As he becomes a tyrant, or a friend. Would David's son, religious, just and grave, To the first bride-bed of the world receive A foreigner, a heathen, and a flave? Or grant, thy passion has these names destroy'd; That love, like death, makes all distinction void

[ocr errors]

Yet in his empire o'er thy abject breast,
His flames and torments only are exprest:
His

rage can in my smiles alone relent :
And all his joys folicit my consent,
Soft love, spontaneous tree, its parted root
Must from two hearts with equal vigour shoot ;
Whilst each delighted, and delighting, gives
The pleaGng extacy, which each receives :
Cherish'd with hope, and fed with joy it grows;
Its chearful buds their op'ning bloom disclose;
And round the happy foil diffusive odour flows.
If angry, fate that mutual care denies ;
The fading plant bewails its due fupplies ;
Wild with despair, or fick with grief, it dies.

By force-beasts act, and are by force reftrain'd;
The human mind by gentle means is gain'd.
Thy useless strength, mistaken king, employ:
Sated with rage, and ignorant of joy',
Thou shalt not gain what I deny to yield ;'
Nor reap the harvest, tho' thou spoilft the field:
Know, Solomon, thy poor extent of sway ;
Contract thy brow, and Ifrael Ihall obey;
But wilful love thou muft with fmiles appease ;
Approach his awful throne by just degrees ;
And if thou wouldst be happy, learn to please.

Not that those arts can here-fuccessful prove:
For I am destin'd to another's love.
Beyond the cruel bounds of thy command,
To my dear equal, in my native land,
My plighted vow I gave: I his receiv'd:
Kach swore with truth : with pleasure cach belierda

The mutual contract was to heav'n convey’d:
In equal scales the busy angels weigh'd
Its solemn force, and clap'd their wings, and spreaď
The lasting roll, recording what we said.

Now in my heart behold thy poniard stain'd;.
Take the fad life which I have long disdain d ;
End, in a dying virgin’s wretched fate,
Thy ill-starr'd passion, and my stedfast hate.
For long as blood informs these circling veins ;
Or fleeting breath its latest pow'r retains :
Hear me to Egypt's vengeful gods declare,
Hate is my part: be thine, O King, despair.

Now strike, she said, and open'd bare her breaft:;.
Stand it in Judah's chronicles- confeft,
That David's son, by impious passion mova,
Smote a she-slave, and murder'd what he lov'd.
A Mamed, confus’d, I started from the bed.;.
And to my soul yet uncollected faid:
Into thyself, fond Solomon, return;
Reflect again, and thou again fhalt mourn.
When I through number'd years have pleasurefought';
And in vain hope the wanton phantom caught;
To mock my sense, and mortify my pride,
'Tis in another's pow'r, and is deny'd.
Am I a king, great Heay'n! does life or death
Hang on the wrath, or mercy of my breath;
While kneeling I my servant's (miles implore ;
And one mad damsel dares difpute my pow'r ?

To ravish her? that thought was soon depress'd, Which must debase the monarch to the beast. To send her back? O whither, and to whom? To lands where Solomon must never comez

[ocr errors]

To that insulting rival's happy arms,
For whom, disdaining me, she keeps her charms.

Fantastic tyrant of the am'rous heart;
How hard thy yoke ! how cruel is thy dart!
Those 'scape the anger, who refuse thy sway;
And those are punish'd most, who most obey.
See Judah's King revere thy, greater pow'r:
What can't thou covet, or how triumph more?
Why then, O Love, with an obdurate ear.
Does this proud nymph reject a monarch’s pray’r ?
Why to some simple shepherd does she run,
From the fond arms of David's fav'rite fon?
Why flies she from the glories of a court,
Where wealth and pleasure may thy reign support,
To some poor cottage on the mountain's brow,
Now black with winds, and cover'd now with snow:
Where pinching want must curb her warm defires,
And houshold cares fupprefs thy genial fires ?

Too aptly the afflicted heathens prove
The force, while they erect the shrines of love.
His mystic form the artizans of Greece
In wounded stone, or molten gold express :
And Cyprus to his godhead pays her vow :
Fast in his band the idol holds his bow:
A quiver by his fide fustains a store
Of pointed darts ; fad emblems of his pow'r :
A pair of wings he has, which he extends
Now to be gone ; which now again he bends
Prone to return, as best may serve his wanton ends.
Entirely thus I find the friend pourtray'd,
Since first alas ! I saw the beauteous maid :

I felt him ftrike ; and now I see him ily:
Curs'd daemon!0! for ever broken lie
Those fatal shafts, by which I inward bleed !
O! can my wishes yet o'ertake thy speed !
Tir'd may'lt thou pant and hang thy flagging wing;
Except thou turn'st thy course, refolu'd to bring
The damsel back, and save the love-lick king.

My soul thus fruggling in the fatal net,
Unable to enjoy, or to forget ;
I reason'd much, alas! but more I lov'd ;
Sent and recall'd, ordaind and difapprov'd :
'Till hopeless plung'd in an abyss of grief,
I from neceflity receiv'd relief,
Time gently aided to assuage my pain ;
And wisdom took once more the facken'd reitt.

But how short my interval of woe ! Our griefs how swift; our remedies how flow Another nymph (for so did Heav'n ordain, To change the manner, but renew the pain). Another nymph, amongit the many fair, That made my softer hours their solemn care, Before the rest affected ftill to stand ; And watch'd my eye, preventing my command. Abia, fhe fo was call'd, did sooneft baste To grace my presence ; Abra went the last: Abra was ready ere I calPd her name ; And though I call'd another, Abra came.

Her equals first observ'd her growing zeal ; And laughing glofs'd that Abra serv'd so well. To me her actions did unheeded die, Or were remark'd but with a common eye ;

« הקודםהמשך »