תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

Great Heav'n!'how frail thy creature man is made!
How by himself insengbly betray'd!
In our own strength unhappily secure,
Too little cautious of the adverse pow'r ;
And by the blast of felf opinion mov'd;
We wish to charm, and seek to be belov'd.
On pleasure's flowing brink we idly stray,
Masters as yet of our returning way:
Seeing no danger, we disarm our mind:
And give our conduct to the waves and wind ::
Then in the flow'ry mead, or verdant shade
To wanton dalliance negligenıly laid,
We wave the chaplet, and we crown the bowl ; :
And smiling see the nearer waters roll :
Till the strong gusts of raging paflion rife;
Till the dire tempeit mingles carth and skies-;.
And swift into the boundless ocean born,
Our foolish confidence too late we mourn :
Round our devoted heads the billows beat,
And from our troubl'd view the lefsen'd lands retreat.

O mighty love! from thy unbounded pow'r
How shali the human borom rest secure ?

:
How shall our thought avoid the various snare?
Or wisdom to our caution's foul declare
The diff'rent shapes, thou pleasest to employ,
When bene to hurt, and certain to destroy ?
The haughty nymph in open beauty drest,
To-day encounters our unguarded breast: -
She looks with majesty, and moves with state :
Unbent her soul, and in misfortune great,
She scorns the world, and dares the rage of fate. S

[ocr errors]

Here whilst we take stern manhood for our guide;
And guard our conduct with becoming pride ;
Charm’d with the courage in her action shown,
We praise her mind, the image of our own.
She that can please is certain to persuade: -
To-day belov’d, to-morrow is obey'd. .
We think we see through reason's oprics right;
Nor find, how beauty's rays elude our light:
Struck with her eye, whilft we applaud her mind;.
And when we speak her great, we wish her kind.

Tomorrow, cruel pow'r, thou arm'st the fair
With flowing forrow, and dishevel'd hair ;.
Sad her complaint, and humble is her tale,
Her fighs explaining where her accents fail.
Her gen'rous softness warms the honeft breaft':
We raise the fad, and succour the distress'd :
And whilst our wish prepares the kind relief ;.
Whilst pity mitigates her rising grief :
We ficken foon from her contagious care ;.
Grieve for her sorrows, groan for her despair ;
And against love too late those bosoms arm,
Which tears can foften, and which fighs can warm-

Against this nearest cruelest of foos, What shall wit meditate, or force oppose ? Whence, feeble nature, shall we summon aid ;. If by our pity, and our pride betray'd ? External remedy fhall we hope to find, When the close fiend has gain'd our treach'rous mind; Insulting there does reason's pow'r deride; And blind himself, conducts the dazzled guide ? My conqu’ror now, my lovely Abra, held My freedom in her chains ; my heart was fillid

With her, with her alone : in her alone
It sought its peace and joy : while she was gone;
It Ggh’d, and griev'd, impatient of her stay :
Return'd, she chas'd thofe fighs, that grief away:
Her absence made the night: her presence brought

the day. . .
The-ball, the play, the mask by turns succeed.
For her I make the song : the dance with her I leade?
I court her various in each shape and dress,
That luxury may form, or thought express.

To-day beneath the palm-tree-on the plains.
In Deborah's arms and habit Abra reigns :
The wreath denoting conquest guides ker brow::
And low, like Barak, at her feet I bow.
The mimic chorus Gings her prosp'rous hand;
As she had lain the foe, and sav'd the land.

To-morrow the approves: a fofter air;.
Forsakes the pomp and pageantry of war ;
The form of peaceful Abigail affumes;
And from the village with the present comes : :
The youthful band depose their glittering arms;
Receive her bounties, and recite her charms;.
Whilft I assume my father's step and mien,
To meet with due regard my future queen.

If haply Abra's will be now inclin'd.
To range the woods, or chace the flying hind...
Soon as the sun awakes, the sprightly court
Leave their repose, and halten to the sport.
In lessen'd royalty, and humble state,
Thy King, Jerusalem, defcends-to wait,
Till Abra comes. She comes : a milk-white steed,.
Mixture of Perga's, and Arabia's breed,.

[ocr errors]

Sustains the nymph: her garments flying loose
(As the Sydonian maids, or Thracian, ufë)
And half ber knce, and half her breast appear,
By art, like negligence, disclos’d; and bare.
Her left hand guides the hunting courser's fight:
A filver bow the carries in her right : is
And from the golden quiver at ber fide; . .
Rustles the ebon-arrow's feather'd pride. '
Sapphires and diamonds on her front display
An artificials moon's increasing ray..

Diana, huntress, mistress of the groves,
The fav'rite A bra speaks, and tooks, and moves.
Her, as the present goddess, I obey. .
Beneath, her feet the captive game I lay.
The mingled chorus Gngs Diana's fame :
Clarions and horns in lowder peals proclaim
Her myftic: praise : the vocal triumphs bound:
Against the hills: the hills reflect the found.
I tir'd this evening with the hunted woods,
To the large fish pools, or the glassy floods
Her mind to-morrow points; a thousand hands
To-night: employ'd, obey the king's commande.
Upon the wat’ry beach an-artful pile
Of planks is join'd, and forms a moving isles
A golden chariot in the midst is set;
And filver cygnets seem to feel its weight. "
Abra, bright Queen, afcends her gaudy thrones.
In femblance of the Grecian Venus known :
Tritons and sea.green Naiads round her move;
And fing in moving ftrains the force of love ::
Whilst as th' approaching pageant does appear,
And echoing crouds speak mighty Venus near;

I, her adorer, too devoutly stand
Fast on the utmost margin of the land,
With arms and hopes extended, to receive -
The fancy'd goddess rising from the wave.-

O fubje&t reason ! O imperious love!
Whither yet further would my folly rove?.
Is it enough, that A bra should be great
In the wallid palace or the rural-feat?
That making habits, and a borrow'a name
Contrive to hide my plenitude of shame?
No, no: Jerusalem combin'd must fee.
My open fault, and regal infamy,
Solemn a month is deftin'a for the feast :
Abra invites : the nation is the guest..
To have the honour of each day sustain'd, .
The woods are travers'd : and the lakes are drain'd:
Arabia's wilds, and Egypt's, are explor'd:
The edible creation decks the board :-
Hardly the Phenix 'scapes
The men their lyres, the maids their voices raiség .
To ling my happiness, and Abra's praise ;
And flavish bards our mutual loves rehearse.
In lying strains, and ignominious verse :
While from the banquet leading forth the bride,
Whom prudent love from public eyes should hide ;
I show her to the world, confess'd and known
Queen of my heart, and partner of my throne.

And now her friends and flatt'rers fill the court; From Dan, and from Beersheba they refort: They barter places, and dispose of grants, . Whole provinces, unequal to their wants.

« הקודםהמשך »