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Her will alone could settle or revoke;
And law was fix'd by what the latest spoke.
Israel neglected, Abra was my care:
I only acted, thought, and liv'd for her.
I durst not reason with my wounded heart;
Abra poffefs'd; she was its better part.
0! had I now review'd the famous cause,
Which gave my righteous youth fo just applause;
In vain on the diffembld mother's tongue
Had cunning art, and fly persuasion hung;
And real care in vain, and native love
In the true parent's panting breast had ftrove;
While both deceiv'd had seen the destin'd child
Or sain, or sav’d, as Abra frown'd, or smild.
Unknowing to command, proud to obey,
A life-less king, a royal fhade 1 lay.
Unheard the injur’d orphans now complain;
The widow's cries address the throne in vain.
Causes unjudg’d disgrace the loaded file;
And sleeping laws the king's neglect 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 Moses govern'd, and how David fought,
Loose and undisciplin'd the foldier lay;
Or loft in drink and game the solid day:
Porches and schools, design’d for publick good,
Uncover’d, and with scaffolds cumber'd stood,
Or nodded, threatening ruin --
Half pillars wanted their expected height;
And roofs imperfect prejudic'd the sight.
The artists grieve; the laboring people droop:
My father's legacy, my country's hope,
God's temples lie unfinish’d-
The wife and grave deplor’d their monarch's fate,
And future mischiefs of a finking state.
Is this, the serious said, is this the man,
Whose active soul thro' every science ran?
Who, by just rule and elevated skill
Prescrib’d the dubious bounds of good and ill?
Whose golden sayings, and immortal wit,
On large Phylacteries expressive writ,
Were to the forehead of the Rabbins ty’d,
Our youth's instruction, and our age’s pride?
Could not the wife his wild desires restrain?
Then was our hearing, and his preaching vain !
What from his life and letters were we taught,
But that his knowledge aggravates his fault?
In lighter mood the humorous and the gay
(As crown'd with roses at their fcaits they lay)
Sent the full goblet, charg'd with Abra's name,
And charms superior to their master's fame :
Laughing, some praise the king, who let 'em see,
How aptly luxe and empire might agree:
Some glofs'd, how love and wisdom were at ftrife;
And brought my proverbs to confront my life.
However, friend, here's to the king, one cries:
To him who was the king, the friend replies.
The king, for Judah’s, and for wisdom's curse,
To Abra yields: could I, or thou do worse?
Our looser lives let chance or folly steer:
If thus the prudent and determin's err.
Let Dinah bind with flowers her flowing hair,
And touch the lute, and found the wanton air:
Let us the bliss without the sting receive,
Free, as we will, or to enjoy, or leave.
Pleasures on levity's smooth surface fiow:
Thought brings the weight, that sinks the foul to woe.
Now be this maxim to the king convey'd,
And added to the thousand he has made.
Sadly, O Reason, is thy power express’d,
Thou gloomy tyrant of the frighted breast!
And harsh the rules, which we from thee receive,
If for our wisdom we our pleasure give;
And more to think be only more to grieve.
If Judah's king at thy tribunal try’d,
Forsakes his joy, to vindicate his pride;
And changing sorrows, I am only found
Loos’d from the chains of love, in thine more strictly
But do I call thee tyrant, or complain,
How hard thy laws, how absolute thy reign?
While thou, alas!'art but an empty name,
To no two men, who e’er discours’d, the same;
The idle product of a troubled thought,
In borrow'd Mapes, and airy colours wrought;
A fancy'd line, and a reflected fhade ;
A chain which man to fetter man has made;
By artifice impos’d, by fear obey'd.
Yet, wretched name, or arbitrary thing,
Whence ever I thy cruel essence bring,
I own thy influence; for I feel thy sting.
Reluctant I perceive thee in my soul,
Form'd to com
ommand, and destin'd to controul.
Yes; thy insulting dictates shall be heard :
Virtue for once shall be her own reward:
Yes; rebel Israel, this unhappy maid
Shall be dismiss’d: the crowd shall be obey'd:
The king his passion, and his rule shall leave,
No longer Abra's, but the people's llave.
My coward foul shall bear its wayward fate:
I will, alas! be wretched, to be great,
And sigh in royalty, and grieve in state.
I said: refolv'd to plunge into my grief
At once so far, as to expect relief
From my despair alone
I chose to write the thing I durst not speak,
To her I lov'd, to her I must forsake.
The harsh epifle labour'd much to prove,
How inconsistent Majesty, and Love.
I always should, it said, esteem her well;
But never see her more: it bid her feel
No future pain for me; but instant wed
A lover more proportion's to her bed;
And quiet dedicate her remnant life
To the juft duties of an humble wife.
She read; and forth to me she wildly ran, To me, the ease of all her former pain. She kneel'd, intreated, struggl'd, threaten'd, cry'd, And with alternate pallion liv'd, and dy'd : ”Till, now, deny'd the liberty to mourn, And by rude fury from my presence torn, This only object of my Cut off from hope, abandon'd to despair, In some few posting fatal hours is hurld From wealth, from power, from love, and from the
Here tell me, if thou dar'ft, my conscious soul,
What different forrows did within thee roll?
What pangs, what fires, what racks didit thou sustain?
What fad viciffitudes of smarting pain?
How oft from pomp
and state did I remove,
To feed despair, and cherish hopeless love?
How oft, all day, recall’d I Abra's charms,
Her beauties prefs'd, and panting in my arms?
How oft, with fighs, 'view'd every female face,
Where mimic fancy-might her likeness trace?
How oft desired to Ay from Israel's throne,
And live in shades with her and Love alone?
How oft, all night, pursued her in my dreams,
O'er flowery vallies, and thro' crystal streams;
And waking, viewed with grief the rising fun,
And fondly mourned the dear delusion gone?
When thus thegathered storms of wretched Love, In my
swoln borom, with long war had strove; At length they broke their bounds: at length their force Bore down whatever met its stronger course: