« הקודםהמשך »
But what adventures more befel 'em,
E L E G Y,
WRITTEN IN THE YEAR
WHEN THE RIGHTS OF SEPULTURE WERE SO FREQUENTLY VIOLATED.
BY W. SHENSTONE, ESQ.
Parent of dreams! thou great magician ! say,
Thus haunts my fancy thro' the glare of day. The filent moon had scal'd the vaulted skies,
And anxious care resign'd my limbs to rest ; A sudden lustre ftruck my wond'ring eyes,
And Silvia stood before my couch confess’d.
Ah! not the nymph, so blooming and so gay,
That led the dance beneath the festive shade ; But she that, in the morning of her day,
Entomb'd beneath the grass-green fod was laid,
No more her eyes their wonted radiance cast;
No more her breast inspir’d the lover's flame; No more her cheek the Pæftan rose surpafs’d;
Yet seem'd her lip's ethereal smile the fame.
Nor such her hair, as deck'd her living face;
Nor such her voice, as charm'd the lift'ning crowd ; Nor such her dress, as heighten'd ev'ry,grace ;
Alas! all vanilh'd for the mournful shroud !
Yet seem'd her lip's ethereal charm the same ;
That dear distinction ev'ry doubt remov'd: Perith the lover, whose imperfect flame
Forgets one feature of the nymph he lov'd!
Damon,' she faid, ' mine hour allotted fies;
Oh! do not waste it with a fruitless tear ! • Tho' griev'd to see thy Silvia's pale disguise;
Suspend thy forrow, and attentive hear.
• So may thy Muse with virtuous fame be bless'd!
So be thy love with mutual love repaid ! • So may thy bones in sacred silence reft
• Fast by the reliques of some happier maid !
• Thou know'st how, ling’ring on a distant fhore,
· Disease invidious nipp'd my flow'ry prime ;
- No friend was near to raise my drooping head,
• No dear companion wept to see me die :
Tho now debarr'd of each domestick tear, “ Unknown, forgot, I meet the fatal blow ; 6* There many a friend shall grace my woeful bier,
66 And many a figh fhall rise, and tear shall flow."
• I spoke; nor Fate forebore his trembling spoil:
• Some venal mourner lent his careless aid; • And foon they bore 'me to my native soil,
" Where my fond parents dear remains were laid.
« 'Twas then the youths; from ev'ry plain and grove,
• Adorn'd with mourriful verse thy Silvia's bier ; 'Twas then the nymphs their votive garlands wove, * And strew'd the fragrance of the youthful year.
. But why, alas ! the tender scene display?
Could Damon's foot the pious path decline ? Ah, no! 'twas Damon first attun'd his lay, . And sure no fonnet was fo dear as thine !
Thus was I bosom'd in the peaceful grave,
My placid ghost no longer wept it's doom; When favage robbers ev'ry fanction brave,
And with outrageous guilt defraud the tomb!
Shall my poor corse, from hostile realms convey'd,
Lose the cheap portion of my native fands ? Or, in
my kindred's dear embraces laid, • Mourn the vile ravage of barbarian hands?
" To see
Say, would thy breast no death-like torture feel,
limbs the felon's gripe obey ? To see them galh'd beneath the daring steel?
To crowds a spectre, and to dogs a prey ?
• If Pæan's fons these horrid rites require,
• If Health's fair science be by these refin'd; • Let guilty convicts for their use expire,
"And let their breathlefs corse avail mankind.
• Yet hard it seems, when Guilt's last fine is paid,
« To see the victim's corse deny'd repose; • Now, more severe, the
offenceless maid • Dreads the dire outrage of inhuman foes.
• Where is the faith of ancient Pagans fled:
• Where the fond care the wand'ring manes claim ? • Nature, instinctive, cries, '“ Protect the dead;
" And facred be their ashes and their fame!”
· Arise, dear youth ! e’en now the danger calls
E'en now the villain snuffs his wonted prey: • See ! see! I lead thee to yon facred walls
• Oh, fly to chase these human wolves away!'