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Thy virgin softness haft thou e'er bewail'd;
As Reason yielded, and as Love prevaild?
And wept the potent God's refiftless dart,
His killing pleasure, his ecstatic smart,
And heavenly poison thrilling through thy heart ?
If so, with pity view my wretched ftate ;
At least deplore, and then forget my fate :
To some more happy Knight reserve thy charms ;
By Fortune favour'd, and successful arms:
And only, as the sun's revolving ray
Brings back each year this melancholy day,
Permit one figh, and set apart one tear,
To an abandon’d exile's endless care.
For me, alas ! out-caft of human race,
Love's anger only waits, and dire disgrace ;
For lo! these hands in murther are imbrued ;
These trembling feet by Juftice are pursued :
Fate calls aloud, and haftens me away;
A shameful death attends my longer stay;
And I this night must fly from thee and love,
Condemn'd in lonely woods, a banish'd man, to rove.
What is our bliss, that changeth with the moon;
And day of life, that darkens ere 'tis noon?
What is true passion, if unbleft it dies ?
And where is Emma's joy, if Henry flies ?
If love, alas! be pain ; the pain I bear
No thought can figure, and no tongue declare.
Ne'er faithful woman felt, nor false one feign’d,
The flames which long have in my bosom reign'd;
The God of Love himself inhabits there,
With all his rage, and dread, and grief, and care,
His complement of stores, and total war.
O! cease then coldly to suspect my love ;
And let my deed at least my faith approve.
Alas! no youth shall my endearments share ;
Nor day nor night shall interrupt my care ;
No future story shall with truth upbraid
The cold indifference of the Nut-brown Maid;
Nor to hard banishment shall Henry run ;
While careless Emma sleeps on beds of down.
View me resolv’d, where-e'er thou lead'st, to go,
Friend to thy pain, and partner of thy woe;
For I atteft fair Venus and her son,
That I, of all mankind, will love but thee alone.
Let prudence yet obstruct thy venturous way;
And take good heed, what men will think and says
That beauteous Emma vagrant courses took;
Her father's house and civil life forsook ;
That, full of youthful bloud, and fond of man,
She to the wood-land with an exile ran.
Reflect, that leffen'd fame is ne'er regain'd;.
And virgin honour, once, is always stain'd:
Timely advis’d, the coming evil shun:
Better not do the deed, than weep it done.
No penance can absolve our guilty fame;
Nor tears, that wash out fin, can wash out shame.
Then fly the sad effects of desperate love ;
And leave a baniih'd man through lonely woods to rove.
. Let Emma's hapless case be falsely told By the rafh young, or the ill-natur’d old : Let every tongue its various censures choose ; Absolve with coldness, or with spite accuse : Fair Truth at last her radiant beams will raise ; And Malice vanquish'd heightens Virtue's praise. Let then thy favour but indulge my flight; O! let my presence make thy travels light; And potent Venus shall exalt my name Above the rumours of censorious Fame ; Nor from that busy Demon's restless power Will ever Emma other grace implore, Than that this truth should to the world be known, That I, of all mankind, have lov'd but thee alone.
HENRY. But canst thou wield the sword, and bend the bow? With active force repel the sturdy foe? When the loud tumult speaks the battle nigh, And winged deaths in whistling arrows fly; Wilt thou, though wounded, yet undaunted stay, Perform thy part, and share the dangerous day? Then, as thy strength decays, thy heart will fail, Thy limbs all trembling, and thy cheeks all pale ; With fruitless forrow, thou, inglorious maid, Wilt weep thy fafety by thy love betray’d: Then to thy friend, by foes o'er-charg'd, deny Thy little useless aid, and coward fly: Then wilt thou curse the chance that made thee love. A banish'd man, condemn’d in lonely woods to rove. .
With fatal certainty Thalestris knew
To send the arrow from the twanging yew;
And, great in arms, and foremost in the war,
Bonduca brandish'd high the British spear.
Could thirst of vengeance and desire of fame
Excite the female breast with martial flame ?
And shall not Love's diviner power inspire
More hardy virtue, and more generous fire ?
Near thee, mistrust not, constant I'll abide,
And fall, or vanquish, fighting by thy fide..
Though my inferior strength may not allow
That I should bear or draw the warrior bow;
With ready hand I will the shaft supply,
And joy to see thy victor arrows fly.
Touch'd in the battle by the hostile reed,
Should'st thou (but Heaven avert it !) should'st thou
To stop the wounds, my finest lawn I'd tear,
Wash them with tears, and wipe them with my hair ;
Bleit, when my dangers and my toils have shown
That I, of all mankind, could love but thee alone.
But canst thou, tender maid, canst thou sustain
Amictive want, or hunger's pressing pain ?
Those limbs, in lawn and softest filk array'd,
from sun-beams guarded, and of winds afraid ;
Can they bear angry Jove ? can they resist
The parching dog-star, and the bleak north-east?
When, chill?d by adverfe snows and beating rain,
We tread with weary steps the longsome plain;
When with hard toil we seek our evening food,
Berries and acorns from the neighbouring wood;
And find among the cliffs no other house,
But the thin covert of some gather'd boughs;
Wilt thou not then reluctant send thine eye
Around the dreary waste : and weeping try
(Though then, alas ! that trial be too late)
To find thy father's hospitable gate,
And seats, where ease and plenty brooding sate? ]
Those seats, whence long excluded thou must mourn ;
That gate, for ever barr’d to thy return :
Wilt thou not then bewail ill-fated love,
And hate a banish'd man, condemn’d in woods to rove?
Thy rise of fortune did I only wed,
From its decline determin’d to recede ;
Did I but purpose to embark with thee
On the smooth surface of a summer's fea;
While gentle Zephyrs play in prosperous gales,
And Fortune's favour fills the swelling fails ;
But would forsake the ship, and make the shore,
When the winds whistle, and the tempests roar?
No, Henry, no: one sacred oath has tied
Our loves; one destiny our life shall guide ;
Nor wild nor deep our common way divide.
When from the cave thou risest with the day,
To beat the woods, and rouse the bounding prey;