תמונות בעמוד
PDF

Or nodded, threatening ruin
Half piilars wanted their expe&ed height ;
And roofs imperfeét prejudic'd the fight.
The artifts grieve ; the laboring people droop :
My father's legacy, my country's hope,
God's temples lie unfinifh'd
The wife and grave deplor'd their monarch's fate,
And future mifchiefs of a finking ftate.
Is this, the ferious faid, is this the mam,
Whofe a&ive foul thro' every fcience ran ?
Who, by juft ru!e and elevated fkill
Prefciib'd the dubious bounds of good and ill?
Whofe golden fayings, and immortal wit,
On large Phyla&teries expreßive writ,
Were to the forehead of the Rabbins ty'd,
Our youth's inftru&tion, and our age's pride ?
Could not the wife his wild defires reftrain ?
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 rofes at their feafts they lay)
Sent the full goblet, charg'd with Abra's name,
And charms fuperior to their mafter's fame:
Laughing, fome praife the king, who 1et 'em fee,
How aptly luxe and empire might agree:
Some glofs'd, how love and wifdom were at ftrife ;
And brought my proverbs to confront my life.
- - However,

[ocr errors]

IIowever, friend, here's to the king, one cries:
To him who was the king, the friend replies.
The king, for Judah's, and for wifdom's curfe,
To Abra yields: could I, or thou do worfe ?
Our loofer lives lct chance or foily fteer:-
If thus the prudent and determin'd err.
Let Dinah bind with flowers her flowing hair,
And touch the lute, and found the wanton air:
Let us the b!if without the fting receive,
Free, as we will, or to enjoy, or leave.
Pleafures on levity's fimooth furface fiow:
Thoughtbrings the weight, that finks the fou! to woe.
Now be this maxim to the king convey*d,
And added to the thoufand he has made.
Sady, O Reafon, is thy power expreß'd,
Thou gloomy tyrant of the frighted breaft!
And harfh the rules, which we from thee receive,
If for our wifdom we our pleafure give ; ?
And more to think be oniy more to grieve.
If Judah's king at thy tribunal try'd,
Forfakes his joy, to vindicate his pride ;
And changing forrows, I am only found
Loos'd from the chains of love, in thine more ftri&tly
bound !
But do I call thee tyrant, or complain,
How hard thy laws, how abfolute thy reign ?
While thou, alas! art but an empty name,
To no two men, who e'er difcoursod, the fame ;
The idle produa of a troubled thought,
in borrowd fhapes, and airy colours wrought ;
A fancy'd

A fancy'd line, and a refle&ted fhade ;
A chain which man to fetter man has made ;
ßy artifice impos'd, by fear obey*d.
Yet, wretchcd name, or arbitrary thing,
Whence ever I thy cruel effence bring,
I own thy influence ; for I feel thy fting.
Relu&tant I perceive thee in my foul,
Form'd to command, and deftin'd to controul.
Yes; thy infulting di$tates fhall be heard :
Virtue for once fha!1 be her own reward:
Yes; rebel Ifrael, this unhappy maid
shall be difimifS'd : the crowd fhall be obey*d:

The king his paffion, and his rule fhall leave,

No longer Abra's, but the people's flave.
My coward foul fhall bear its wayward fate :
I will, alas! be wretched, to be great,
And figh in royalty, and grieve in ftate.
I faid: refolv'd to plunge into my grief
At once fo far, as to expe&t relief
From my defpair alone
I chofe to write the thing I durft not fpeak,
To her I lov'd, to her I muft forfake.
The harfh epiftle labour'd much to prove,
How inconfiftent Majefty, and Love.
I always fhould, it faid, efteem her well ; .
But never fee her more: it bid her feel
No future pain for me ; but inftant wed
A lover more proportion'd to her bed ;
And quiet dedicate her remnant 1ife
To the juft duties of an humble wife.

[merged small][ocr errors][graphic]

She read; and forth to me fhe wildly ran, To me, the eafe of all her former pain. She kneel'd, intreated, ftruggl'd, threaten'd, cry'd, And with alternate paffion liv'd, and dy'd : *Till, now, deny'd the liberty to mourn, And by rude fury from my prefence torn, This only obje&t of my real care, Cut off from hope, abandon'd to defpair, In fome few pofting fatal hours is hur!'d From wealth, from power, from love, and from the

world.

Here tell me, if thou dar'ft, my confcious fou{, What different forrows did withim thee roll ? What pangs, what fires, what racks didft thou fuftain? What fad viciffitudes of fmarting pain ? How oft from pomp and ftate did I remove, To feed defpair, and cherifh hopelefs 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 likenefs trace ? How oft defired to fy from Ifrael's throne, And live in fhades with her and Love alone ? How oft, all night, purfued her in my dreams, · O'er flowery vallies, and thro' cryftal ftreams; And waking, viewed with grief the rifing fun, And fondly mourned the dear delufion gone?

When thus thegathered ftorms of wretched Love, In my fwoln bofom, with long war had ftroye ; Atlength theybroke their bounds: at length their fcrce Bore down whatever met its ftronger courfe:

[ocr errors]

JLay'd all the civil bonds of manhood wafté: And fcatter'd ruin as the torrent paft. So from the hiils, whofe hollow caves contain The congregated fnow, and fwelling rain; ? *Till the full flores their antient bounds difdain ; Precipitate the furious torrent flows: In vain would fpeed avoid, or ftrength oppofe; Towns,forefts, herds, and men promifcuous drown'd, With one great death deform the dreary ground: 3 *The echo'd woes from diftant rocks refound. And now, what impious ways my wifhes took; M. How they the monarch, and the man forfook ; AnJ how I followed an abandoned will, - Thro' crooked paths, and fad retreats of i11; How Judah's daughters now, now foreign flaves, By turns my proftituted bed receives : Through tribes of women how I loofely rang'd Impatient ; liked to-night, to-morrow chang'd; And, by the inftin&t of capricious luft, Enjoyed, diflained, was grateful, or unjuft: C), be thefe fcenes from human eyes conceal'd, ' In clouds of decent filence juftly veil'd! o, be the wanton images convey*d To black oblivion, and eternal fhade! v Or let their fad Epitome alone, And outward lines, to future age be known, , £nough to propagate the fure belief, That vice engenders fhame ; and foliy broods o'er grief.

Euryed

[graphic]
« הקודםהמשך »