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To-morrow, cruel power! 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. Here generous softness warms the honest breast : We raise the fad, and fuccour the difirefs'd; And whilst our wish prepares the kind relief; Whilft pity mitigates her rising grief: We sicken foon from her contagious care; Grieve for her sorrows, groan for her despair; And against love too late those bosoms arm, Which tears can soften, and which fighs can warm.
Against this nearest cruelest of foes, What hall wit meditate, or force oppose? Whence feeble nature, fhall we fummon aid; If by our pity, and our pride betray'd? External remedy shall we hope to find, When the close fiend has gain’d our treacherous mind; Insulting there does reason's power deride; And blind himself, conducts the dazzl'd guide ? My conqueror now, my lovely Abra, held My freedom in her chains; my heart was fill'd With her, with her alone: in her alone It fought its peace and joy: while she was gone, It sigh’d, and griev’d, impatient of her stay: Return'd, the chas'd those 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: che dance with her I lead.
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 her brow ;
And low, like Barak, at her feet I bow.
The mimic chorus sings her prosperous hand;
As she had slain the foe, and fav'd the land.
To-morrow the approves a softer air,
The form of peaceful Abigail afumes,
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
the woods, or chace the flying hind; Soon as the sun awakes, the sprightly court Leave their repose, and hasten to the sport. In lessen'd royalty, and humble ftate, Thy King, Jerusalem, descends to wait, 'Till Abra comes. She comes: a milk white steed, Mixture of Persia's and Arabia's breed, Sustains the nyinph: her garments flying loose (As the Sydonian maids, or Thracian use) And half her knee, and half her breast appear, By art, like negligence, disclos'd, and bare. E 2
Her left hand guides the hunting courser's Aight:
A silver bow The carries in her right:
And from the golden quiver at her fide,
Rustles the ebon arrow's feather'd pride.
Saphirs and diamonds on her front display
An artificial moon's increasing ray.
Diana, huntrefs, mistress of the groves,
The favorite Abra speaks, and looks, and moves.
Her, as the present goddess, I obey:
Beneath her feet the captive game I lay,
The mingi'd chorus sings Diana's fame :
Clarions and horns in louder peals proclaim
Her mystic praise: the vocal triumphs bound
Against the hills: the hills reflect the found.
If, tir'd this evening with the hunted woods,
To the large fish pools, or the glasiy foods,
Her mind to-morrow points; a thousand 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 isle:
A golden chariot in the midst is set;
And silver cygnets seem to feel its weight.
Abra, bright queen, ascends her gaudy throne,
In femblance of the Græcian Venus known:
Tritons and sea-green Naiads round her move;
And fing in moving strains the force of love:
Whilst as th' approaching pageant does a ppear,
And echoing crouds speak mighty Venus near,
1, her adorer, too devoutly stand
Faft on the utmost margin of the land,
With arms and hopes extended, to receive
The fancy'd goddess rising from the wave.
O subject Reason! O imperious Love!
further would my folly rove?
Is it enough that Abra should be great
In the wall'd palace, or the rural seat?
That masking habits, and a borrow'd name
Contrive to hide my plenitude of shame?
No, no: Jerusalem combin’d must see
My open fault, and regal infamy.
Solemn a month is deftin'd for the feast:
· Abra invites: the nation is the guest.
To have the honour of each day sustain's,
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 'scapes
The men their lyres, the maids their voices raise,
To fing 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 publick eyes should hide;
I few her to the world, confess’d and known
Queen of my heart, and partner of my throne.
And now her friends and flatterers fill the court;
From Dan, and from Beersheba they refort:
They barter places, and dispose of grants,
Whole provinces unequal to their wants ;
They teach her to recede, or to debate:
With toys of love to mix affairs of state;
By practis'd rules her empire to secure;
And in my pleasure make my ruin fure.
They gave, and the transferr'd the curs'd advice,
That monarchs should their inward foul disguise,
Dificmble and command, be false and wife;
By ignominious arts for servile ends
Should compliment their foes, and fun their friends.
And now I leave the true and just supports
Of legal princes, and of honest courts,
Barzillai's, and the fierce Benaiah's heirs,
Whose 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
Those whom my follies only made me fear,
Old Corah's brood, and taunting Shimei's race;
Miscreants who ow'd their lives to David's grace;
Tho' they had spurn'd his rule, and curs'd him to
Still Abra's power, my scandal still increas'd;
Justiçe submitted to what Abra plcas’d: