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'Till more appriz'd of what the rumour said,
Miore I observ'd peculiar in the maid.
The sun declin'd had shot his western-ray;
When tir'd with bufiness of the folemn day,
I purpos'd to unbend the ev'ning hours,
And banquet private in the women's bow'rs.
I call'd before I fat to wash my hands ::
For fo the precept of the law.commands.
Love had ordain'd, that it was Abra's turn
To mix the sweets, and minister the urn.
With awful homage, and submissive dread'
The maid approach'd, on my declining head
To pour the oils : The trembled as she pour’d;
With an anguarded look she now devour'd
My nearer face; and now recall'd her eye,
And heav'd, and Atrove to hide a sudden Gogh.
And whence, said I, can thou have dread, or pain?
What can thy imag'ry of sorrow mean?
Secluded from the world, and all its care,
Hast thou to grieve or joy, to hope or fear ? -
For sure, I added, sure thy little heart
Ne'er felt Love's anger, or receiv'd bis dart.
Abash'd she blush'd, and with disorder spoke:
Her rising shame adorn'd the words it broke.
If the great mafter will descend to hear. The humble series of his handmaid's care; O! while she tells it, let him not put on The look, that awes the pations from the throne : 0! let not death severe in glory lie In the king's frown, and terror of his eye.
Mine to obey ... thy part is to ordain ; . And tho?.to. mention, be to suffer pain;
If the King smiles, whilft I my woe recite" ;
If weeping I find favour in his fight;
Flow fast my tears, full rising his delight.
O! witness earth beneath, and heav'n above;
For can I hide it? I am sick of love:
If madness may the name of paffion bear;
Or love be eall'd, what is indeed despair.
Thou Sou'reign Pow'r, whore secret will controlls
The inward bent and motion of our souls !
Why hast thou plac'd such infinite degrees
Between the cause and cure of my disease?
The mighty object of that raging fire,
In which unpity'd Abra must expire,
Had he been born some fimple shepherd's heir,
The lowing herd, or fleecy sheep his care,
At morn with him I o'er the hills had run,
Scornful of winter's frosts, and summer's sun.
Still alking, where he made his flock to rest at noon.
For him at night, the dear expected guest,
I had with hafty joy prepar'd the feast;
And from the cottage o'er the diftant plain,
Sent forth my longing eye to meet the swain;
Wav'ring, impatient, toss’d by hope and fear;
'Till he and joy together should appear ;
And the lov'd dog declare his master near.
On my declining neck, and open breast,
I should have lulld the lovely youth to rest ;
And from beneath his head, at dawning day,
With softest care have stoln my arm away;
To rise, and from the fold release the sheep,
Fond of his flock, indulgent to his sleep.
Or if kind Heav'n propitious to my flame (For fure from Heav'n the faithful ardour came) Had bleft my life, and deck'd my natal hour With height of title, and extent of pow'r : Without a crime my passion had aspir’d, Found the lov'd prince, and told what I'defiria.
Then I had come, preventing Sheba's Queen, To see the comeliest of the sons of men; To hear the charming poet's am'rous song, And gather honey falling from his tongue; To take the fragrant kifies of his mouth, Sweeter than breezes of her native fouth; Likening his grace, his person, and his mien To all that great or beauteous I had seen. Serene and bright his eyes, as solar beams Reflecting temper'd light from crystal streams; Ruddy as gold his cheek; his bosom fair As silver; the curld ringlets of his hair Black as the raven's wing; his lip more red, Than eastern coral, or the scarlet thread; Even his teeth, and white like a young flock Coeval, newly shorn, from the clear brook Recent, and blanching on the sunny rock, Iv'ry with sapphires interspers'd, explains How white his hands, how blue the manly veins. Columns of polish'd marble firmly set On golden bases, are his legs and feet. His stature all majestic, ali divine, Straight as the palm-tree, strong as is the pine. Saffron and myrrhe are on his garments shed: And everlasting sweets bloom round his head.
What utter I? where am I? wretched maidh
Die, Abra, die: too plainly halt thou said
Thy foul's desire to meet his high embrace,
And blessings stamp'd upon thy future race ;
To bid attentive nations bless thy womb,
With unborn monarchs charg'd,and Solomons tocome.
Here o'er her speech her flowing eyes prevail.
O foolish maid! and O unhappy tale !
My fuff'ring heart for ever shall defy
New wounds, and danger from a future eye.
O! yet my tortur'd senses deep retain
The wretched mem'ry of my former pain,
The dire affront, and my Egyptian chain.
As time, I said, may happily efface
That cruel image of the king's difgrace ; :
Imperial reason thall resume her seat ;,
And Solomon once fall'n, again be great.
Betray'd by passion, as subdu'd in war,
We wisely should exert a double care,
Nor ever ought a second time to err.
This Abra then-
I saw her; 'twas humanity ; it gave
Some respite to the sorrows of my fave.
Her fond excess proclaim'd her passion true ; :
And generous pity to that truth was due.
Well I intreated her, who well deferv'd;
I callid her often ; for she always serv'd.
Use made her person easy to my fight 3
And ease infenfibly produc'd delight.
Whene'er I revell'd in the women's bow'rs (For first I fought her but at looser hours)
The apples she had gather'd smelt most sweet:
The cake she kneaded was the fav'ry meat :
But fruits their odour loft, and meat their talten
If gentle Abra had not deck'd the feast.
Dishonour'd did the fparkling goblet stand :
Unless receiv'd from gentle Abra's hand :
And when the virgins form'd the ev'ning choir,
Raising their voices to the master lyre;
Too flat I thought this voice, and that too shrill;-
One show'd too much, and one too little fille
Nor could my soul approve the musicos-tone ;
'Till all was hufh'd, and Abra lung alone.
Fairer le seem'd, distinguish'd from the rest;
And better mien disclos'd, as better dreft.
A bright tiara round her forehead cy'd,
To juster bounds confin’d its rising pride :
The blushing ruby on her snowy breast,
Render'd its panting whiteness more confess’d':
Bracelets of pearl gave roundness to her arm ;
And ev'ry gem augmented ev'ry charm.
Her senses pleas'd, her beauty ftill improv'd ;
And the more lovely grew, as more belov'd.
And now I could behold, and vow, and blame
The several follies of my former flame;
Willing, my heart for recompence to prove
The certain joys that lie in profp'rous love.
For what, said I, from Abra can I fear,
Too humble to infult, too soft to be severe ?
The damfel's fole ambition is to please :
With freedom I may like, and quit with eafe ;
She fooths, but never can enthral my mind :
Why may not peace and love for once be join'd?