תמונות בעמוד

Add yet unnumber'd ills, that lie unseen In the pernicious draught; the word obscene, Or harsh, which once elanc'd must ever fly Irrevocable; the too prompt reply, Seed of severe diftrust, and fierce debate; What we should shun, and what we ought to hate.

Add too the blood impoverish'd, and the course Of health suppress'd, by wine's continu'd force.

Unhappy man! whom sorrow thus and rage To different ills alternately engage; Who drinks, alas! but to forget; nor fees, That melancholy sloth, severe disease, Memory confus'd, and interrupted thought, Death's harbingers, lie latent in the draught: And in the powers that wreath the sparkling bowl. Fell adders hiss, and poisonous serpents roll.

Remains there ought untry'd, that may remove
Sickness of mind, and heal the bosom?--Love,
Love yet remaias: indulge his genial fire,
Cherish fair hope, solicit young desire,
And boldly bid thy anxious soul explore
This last great remedy's mysterious power.

Why therefore hesitates my doubtful breast?
Why ceases it one moment to be bleft?
Fly swift, my friends; my servants, fly; employ
Your instant pains to bring your master joy.
Let all my wives and concubines be dress’d;
Let them to-night attend the royal feast;
All Israel's beauty, all the foreign fair;
The gifts of princes, or the spoils of war :


[ocr errors]

Before their monarch they shall fingly pass;
And the most worthy shall obtain the grace.

I said: the feast was serv’d; the bowl was crown'd;
To the king's pleasure went the mirthful round:
The women came: as custom wills, they past:
On one, (O that diftinguish'd one!) I caft
The favourite glance! O! yet my mind retains
That fond beginning of my infant pains,
Mature the virgin was, of Egypt's race;
Grace Map'd her limbs, and beauty deck'd her face:
Eafy her motion seem'd, serene her air;
Full, though unzon'd, her bofom rofe: her hair
Unty'd, and ignorant of artful aid,
Adown her shoulders loosely lay display'd;
And in the jetty curls ten thousand Cupids play'd,

Fix'd on her charms, and pleas'd that I could love, Aid me, my friends, contribute to approve Your monarch's bliss, I said; fresh roses bring To strew my bed ; 'till the impoverish'd Spring Confess her want; around my amorous head Be dropping myrrh, and liquid amber shed, 'Till Arab has no more. From the soft lyre, Sweet flute, and ten-ftring'd inftrument, require Sounds of delight; and thou fair nymph draw nigh; Thou in whose graceful form, and potent eye Thy master's joy long fought at length is found; And, as thy brow, let my desires be crown'd;. O favourite virgin, that haft warm'd the breast, Whose sovereign dictates subjugate the East !

I said i

I said; and sudden from the golden throne
With a submissive step I hafted down,
The glowing garland from my hair I took,
Love in my heart, obedience in my look;
Prepar’d to place it on her comely head:
O favourite virgin! (yet again I said)
Receive the honours destin’d to thy brow;
And O above thy fellows happy thou!
Their duty must thy sovereign word obey :
Rise up, my love, my fair one, come away.

What pang, alas! what ecstasy of smart
Tore up my senses, and transfix'd my heart;
When she with modest scorn the wreath return'd,
Reclin'd her beauteous neck, and inward mourn'd!

Forc'd by my pride, I my concern suppress’d,
Pretended drowsiness, and wish of rest;
And sullen I forsook th' imperfect feaft:
Ordering the eunuchs, to whose proper care
Our eastern grandeur gives th’imprison’d fair,
To lead her forth to a distinguish'd bower,
And bid her dress the bed, and wait the hour.

Restless I follow'd this obdurate maid
(Swift are the steps that love and anger tread);
Approach'd her person, courted her embrace,
Renew'd my flame, repeated my disgrace;
By turns put on the suppliant, and the lord:
Threaten'd this moment, and the next implor'd;
Offer'd again the unaccepted wreath,
And choice of happy love, or instant death.




Averse to all her amorous king desir'd,
Far as she might, the decently retir’d:
And, darting scorn and sorrow from her eyes,
What means, said she, king Solomon the wise?

This wretched body trembles at your power:
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 canst plausibly dispute,
Supreme of feers ! of angel, man, and brute;
Can't plead with subtle wit and fair discourse,
Of paflion's folly, and of reason's force;
That to the tribes attentive, thou canst show,
Whence their misfortunes, or their blessings flow ;
That thou in science, as in power art great;
And truth and honour on thy edicts 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 strife;
'Tis all the colour of remaining life:
And human misery must begin or end,
As he becomes a tyrant, or a friend.
Would David's son, religious, juft, and grave,
To the first bride-bed of the world receive,
A foreigner, a heathen, and a slave?
Or grant, thy paslion has these names destroy'd;
That love, like death, makes all distinctions void;



rage can in

} }

Yet in his empire o'er thy abje& breast,
His flames and torments only are expreft:


smiles alone relent; And all his joys solicit my consent.

Soft love, spontaneous tree, its parted root
Muft from two hearts with equal vigour shoot :
Whilft each delighted, and delighting gives
The pleasing ecstacy, which each receives:
Cherish'd with hope, and fed with joy, it grows:
Its chearful buds their opening bloom disclose;
And round the happy foil diffusive odoúr flows.
If angry fate that mutual care denies;
The fading plant bewails its due supplies;
Wild with despair, or fick with grief, it dies.

By force beasts act, and are by force restrain'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, though thou spoil'st the field.
Know, Solomon, thy poor extent of fway;
Contract thy brow, and Israel ihall obey:
But wilful Love thou must with smiles appease;
Approach his awful throne by just degrees;
And, if thou would't be happy, learn to please.

Not that those arts can here successful prove;
For I am deitin'd for another's love.
Beyond the cruel bounds of thy command,
To my dear equal in my native land,


« הקודםהמשך »