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f court her various in each fhape and drefs,
That luxury may form, or thought exprefs.
To day, beneath the palm tree on the plains
In Deborah's arms and habit Abra reigns :
The wreath denoting conqueft guides her brow ;
And low, like Barak, at her feet I bow.
The mimic chorus fings her profperous hand ;
As fhe had flain the foe, and fav'd the land.
To-morrow fhe approves a fofter air,
Forfakes the pomp and pageantry of war ;
The form of peaceful Abigail affumes,
And from the village with the prefent comes :
The youthful band depofe their glittering arms,
Receive her bounties, and recite her charms;
Whiift I afTume my father's ftep 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 fying hind;
Soon as the fun awakes, the fprightly court
Leave their repofe, and haften to the fport.
In leffen'd royalty, and humble ftate,
Thy King, Jerufalem, defcends to wait,
'Till Abra comes. She comes: a milk white fteed,
Mixture of Perfia's and Arabia's breed,
Suftains the nymph: her garments flying loofe
(As the Sydoniam maids, or Thracian ufe)
And half her knee, and half her breaft appear,
By art, like negligence, difclos'd, and bare.
E 2 Her
Her left hand guides the hunting coucfer's fiigfit:
A filver bow fhe carries in her right:
And from the golden quiver at her fide,
Ruftles the ebon arrow*s feather'd pride.
Saphirs and diamonds on her front difplay
An artificial moon's increafing ray.
Diana, humtrefs, mifirefs of the groves,
The favorite Abra fpeaks, and looks, and moves.
Her, as the prefent goddefs, I obey :
Beneath her feet the captive game I lay,
The mingl'd chorus fings Diana's fame :
Clarions and horns in louder peals proclaim
Her myftic praife: the vocal triumphs bound
Againft the hills: the hills refle&t the found.
I£, tir'd this evening with the hunted woods,
To the large fifh pools, or the glafiy fioods,
Her mind to-morrow points; a thoufand hands ;
To-night employ'd, obey the kind's commands.
Upon the watery beach an artful pile -
Of planks is join'd, and forms a moving ifle:
A golden chariot in the midit is fet ;
And filver cygnets feem to feel its weight.
Abra, bright queen, afcends her gaudy throne,
In femb!ance of the Graeciam Venus known :
Tritons and fea-green Naiads round her move ;
And fing in moving ftrains the force of love:
Whilft as th' approaching pageant does appear,
And echoing crouds fpeak mighty Venus near,
£, her adorer, too devoutly ftand
Faft on the utmoft margin of the land,
With arms and hopes extended, to receive
The fancy'd goddef$ rifing from the wave.
O fubje&t Reafon ! O imperious Love!
Whither yet further would my folly rove?
Is it enough that Abra fhould be great
In the wali'd palace, or the rural feat ?
That mafking habits, and a borrow'd name
Contrive to hide my plenitude offhame ?
No, no: Jerufalem combin'd muft fee
My open fault, and regal infamy.
Solemn a month is deftin'd for the feaft:
Abra invites: the nation is the gueft.
To have the honour of each day fuftain'd,
The woods are travers'd: and the lakes are drain'd:
Arabia's wilds, and Ægypt's are explor'd:
The edible creation decks the board:
Hardly the Phenix *fcapes ——
The men their lyres, the maids their voices raife,
To fing my happinefs, and Abra's praife.
And flavifh bards our mutual loves rehearfe
In lying ftrains, and ignominious verfe:
While, from the banquet leading forth the bride,
Whom prudent love from publick eyes fhould hide ;
1 fhew her to the world, confefs'd and known
*Queen of my heart, and partner of my throne.
A nd now her friends and flatterers fill the court ; From Dan, and from Beerfheba they refort: They barter places, and difpofe of grants, Whole provinces unequal to their wants ; They teach her to recede, or to debate: With toys of love to mix affairs of ftate ; Py pra&tis'd rules her empire to fecure ; And in my pleafure make my ruin fure. They gave, and fhe transferr'd the curs'd advice, That monarchs fhould their inward foul difguife, } Diffemble and command, be falfe and wife ; By igncminious arts for fervile ends Should compliment their foes, and fhun their friends, And now I leave the true and juft fupports Of legal princes, and of honeft courts, Barzi!lai's, and the fierce Benaiah*s heirs, Whofe fires, great partners in my father's cares, Saluted their young king at Hebron crown'd, Great by their toil, and glorious by their wound, And now, (unhappy council!) I prefer 'I`hofe whom my follies only made me fear, Cld Corah's brood, and taunting Shimei's race ; Mifcreants who ow'd their lives to David's grace ; Tho* they had fpurn'd his rule, and curs°d him to his face. Still Abra's pcwer, my fcandal ftill increas'd; Juftice fubmitted to what Abra plcas'd:
£Her will alone could fettle or revoke ;
And law was fix'd by what fhe lateft fpoke.
Ifrael negle&ted, Abra- was my care:
H only a&ted, thought, and liv'd for her.
I durft not reafon with my wounded heart ;
Abra poffefs°d ; fhe was its better part.
O! had I now review?d the famous caufe,
Which gave my righteous youth fo juft applaufe;
In vain on the diffembl'd mother's tongue
Had cunning art, and fly perfuafion hung;
And real care in vain, and native love
In the true parent's panting breaft had ftrove;
While both deceiv*d had feen the deftin'd child
Or flain, or fav'd, as Abra frown'd, or fmil'd.
Unknowing to command, proud to obey,
A life-lefs king, a royal fhade I lay.
Unheard the injur'd orphans now complain:
The widow's cries addrefs the throne in vain.
Caufes unjudg'd difgrace the loaded file;
And fleeping laws the king's negle&t revile.
No more the elders throng'd around my throne,
To hear my maxims, and reform their own.
No more the young nobility were taught,
How Mofes govern'd, and hpw David fought,
Loofe and undifciplin'd the foldier lay;
Or loft in drink and game the folid day:
Porches and fchools, defign'd for publick good,
Vncover'd, and with fcaffolds cumber'd flood,
- E. 4 Op.