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From my despair alone
I chose to write the thing I durit not speak
To her I lov'd, to her I must forsake.
The harsh epistle 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
813 A lover more proportion’d to her bed ; And quiet dedicate her remnant life To the just duties of an humble wife.
She read; and forth to me the wildly rán, To me, the ease of all her former pain.
820 She kneeld, intreated, struggled, threaten’d, cry’d, And with alternate passion 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 real care,
825 Cut off from hope, abandon’d to despair, In some few posting fatal hours is hurl?d From wealth, from power, from love, and from the
world. Here tell me, if thou dar'st, my conscious soul, What different sorrows did within thes roll ? 830 What pangs, what fires, what racks, didst thou sustain ? What sad vicissitudes 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 press’d, and panting in my arms ?
Tob b Or le And Enou That
How oft', with fighs, view'd ev'ry female face,
Where mimic fancy might her likeness trace ?
How oft desir'd to fly 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 through crystal streams ?
And, waking, view'd with grief the rising fun,
And fondly mourn’d the dear delusion gone?
When thus the gather'd storms of wretched Love, 845
In my swoln bosom, with long war had strove;
At length they broke their bounds; at length their force Bur
Bore down whatever met its stronger course;
Laid all the civil bonds of manhood waste;
And scatter'd ruin as the torrent paft.
So from the hills, whose hollow caves contain
The congregated snow and swelling rain,
Till the full stores their ancient bounds disdain,
Precipitate the furious torrent flows :
In vain would speed avoid, or strength oppofe ;
Towns, forests, herds, and men, promiscuous drown’d, men
With one great death deform the dreary ground:
The echoed woes from distant rocks resound.
And now, what impious ways my wishes took,
How they the monarch and the man forsook ;
And how I follow'd an abandon'd will,
Through crooked paths, and sad retreats of ill;
How Judah's daughters now, now foreign llaves,
By turns my prostituted bed receives;
Through tribes of women how I loosely rang’d
Impatient; lik’d to-night, to-morrow chang’d;
ale face, S trace? rone, alone! dreams,
ength their for Bury'd in forn, and lost in eafe, I lay;
s drown'd, to take the true, or set the false afide.
And, by the instinct of capricious lụst,
Enjoy’d, disdain'd, was grateful, or unjust :
O, be these scenes from human eyes conceald,
In clouds of decent silence justly veild !
O, be the wanton images convey'd
To black oblivion, and eternal shade!
Or let their sad epitome alone,
And outward lines, to future age be known,
Enough to propagate the sure belief,
That vice engenders shame, and folly broods o'er grief!
The night I reveld ; and I slept the day.
New heaps of fewel damp'd my kindling fires;
And daily change extinguish'd young defires. .
By its own force destroy’d, fruition ceas'd ;
And, always weary’d, I was never pleas’d.
No longer now does my neglected mind
its wonted stores and old ideas find.
8ššix'd judgement there no longer does abide,
I streams? ng cone! etched Lore,
No longer does swift memory trace the cells,
Where springing wit, or young invention, dwells.
Frequent debauch to habitude prevails ;
sPatience of toil, and love of virtue, fails.
By fad degrees impair’d, my vigour dies ;
Till I command no longer ev’n in vice.
The woinen on my dotage build their sway;
They ask ; I grant; they threaten; I obey.
'n regal garments now I gravely stride,
Awd by the Persiau damsel's haughty pride :
Now with the looser Syrian dance and fing,
In robes tuck'd up, opprobrious to the king.
Charm'd by their eyes, their manners I acquire,
And shape my foolishness to their desire,
Seduc'd and aw'd by the Philistine daine ;
At Dagon's shrine I kindle impious flame.
With the Chaldean's charms her rites prevail ;
And curling frankincense ascends to Baal.
To each new harlot I new altars dress ;
905 And serve her god, whose person I caress.
Where, my deluded sense, was Reason flown,
Where the high majesty of David's throne,
Where all the maxims of eternal truth,
With which the living God informd my youth; 910
When with the lewd Egyptian I adore
Vain idols, deities that ne'er before
In Israel's land had fix'd their dire abodes,
Beastly divinities, and droves of gods ;
Osiris, Apis, powers that chew the cud,
And dog Anubis, flatrerer for his food ;
When in the woody hills forbidden shade
I carv'd the marble, and invok'd its aid ;
When in the fens to snakes and flies, with zeal
Unworthy human thought, I prostrate fell ;
To shrubs and plants my vile devotion paid ;
And set the bearded leek, to which I pray'd ;
When to all beings sacred rites were given,
Forgot the Arbiter of earth and heaven?
Through these sad shades, this chaos in my soul, 925
Some seeds of light at length began to roll.
"The rising motion of an infant ray
'Shot glimmering through the cloud, and promis'd day.
And now, one moment able to reflect,
I found the King abandon’d to neglect, 930
Seen without awe, and serv'd without respect.
I found my subjects amicably join,
To lessen their defects by citing mine.
The priest with pity pray'd for David's race;
And left his text, to dwell on my disgrace. 935
The father, whilst he warn’d his erring son
The sad examples which he ought to Thun,
Describ’d, and only nam'd not, Solomon.
Each bard, each fire, did to his pupil sing,
A wise child better than a foolith King.
Into myself my
eye I turn’d;
And, as I much reflected, much I mourn'd.
A mighty King I am, an earthly God;
Nations obey my word, and wait my nod ;
I raise or sink, imprison or set free ;
And life or death depends on my decree :
Fond the idea, and the thought is vain.
O’er Judah's King ten thousand tyrants reign;
Legions of lust, and various powers of ill,
Insult the master's tributary will :
And he, from whom the nations should receive
Justice and freedom, lies himself a flave,
Tortur'd by cruel change of wild desires,
Lalh’d by mad rage, and scorch'd by brutal fires.
O Reason! once again to thee I call;
Accept my sorrow, and retrieve my fall.