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Of folly studious, e'en of vices vain,
I chas'd the guileless daughters of the plain,
Poor artless maid to stain thy spotless name Expense, and art, and toil, united strove; To lure a breast that felt the purest flame, Sustain'd by virtue, but betray’d by love.
School'd in the science of love's mazy wiles,
I spoke of jealous doubts, and fickle smiles,
Then, while the fancy'd rage alarm'd her care,
I bade my words their wonted softness wear,
To thee, my Damon, dare I paint the rest ?
Assur'd that virtue, by misfortune prest,
Nine envious moons matur'd her growing shame,
When scorn'd of virtue, stigmatiz'd by fame,
“Henry,” she said, “by thy deat form subdu'd,
“I find, I find this rising sob renew'd :
“Amid the dreary gloom of night, I cry,
“Alas! no more that joyous morn appears
“The vocal birds that raise their matin strain,
“If thro' the garden's flow'ry tribes I stray,
“Ye flow'rs that well reproach a nymph so frail,
“The brightest bud that scents the vernal gale
“Now the grave old alarm the gentler young,
“And all my fame's abhorr'd contagion flee;. “Trembles each lip, and faulters every tongue, “That bids the morn propitious smile on me.
“Thus for your sake I shun each human eye;
“To die I languish, but I dread to die,
“Raise me from earth; the pains of want remove,
“There only, banish’d from the form I love,
“Be but my friend; I ask no dearer name;
“Nor could it heal my peace, or chase my shame,
“ Force not my tongue to ask its scanty bread,
“Not such the parent's board at which I fed
“ Not such the precepts from his lips I drew :
“Haply, when age has silver'd o'er my hair,
“Envy may slight a face no longer fair;
She spoke—nor was I born of savage race,
. Nor could these hands a niggard boon assign;
Grateful she clasp'd me in a last embrace,
I saw her foot the lofty bark ascend;
I left her—torn from every earthly friend;
O'er the tall mast the circling surges close;
And,-see my youth's impetuous fires decay;
But warn the frolic, and instruct the gay,
TO A FRIEND.
HEALTH to my Friend, and many a cheerful day
Ah me! too swiftly fleets our vernal bloom
Soon may thy breast the cordial wish resume,
Say, were it our's, by Fortune's wild command,
Life is that stranger land, that alien clime; Shall kindred souls forego their social claim *
Launch'd in the vast abyss of space and time, Shall dark suspicion quench the gen'rous flame *
Myriads of souls, that knew one parent mold,
Myriads, in Time's perennial list enroll'd,
But we have met—where ills of every form, Where passions rage, and hurricanes descend:
Say, shall we nurse the rage, assist the storm, And guide them to the bosom of a friend?
Yes, we have met—thro' rapine, fraud, and wrong, Might our joint aid the paths of peace explore!
Why leave thy friend amid the boist’rous throng, Ere death divide us, and we meet no more?
For oh! pale sickness warns thy friend away t
I see stern fate his ebon wand display,
Then the keen anguish from thine eye shall start, Sad as thou follow'st my untimely bier;
“Fool that I was—if friends so soon must part, “To let suspicion intermix a fear.”