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(The source of children's and of courtiers' pride!) Redress'd affronts, for vile affronts there pass'd; And warn'd them not the fretful to deride, But love each other dear, whatever them betide.
Right well she knew each temper to descry; To thwart the proud, and the submiss to raise ; Some with vile copper-prize exalt on high, And some entice with pittance small of praise, And other some with baleful sprig she 'frays: E'en absent, she the reins of power doth hold, While with quaint arts the giddy crowd she sways: Forewarn'd, if little bird their pranks behold, "Twill whisper in her ear, and all the scene unfold.
Lo now with state she utters the command! Eftsoons the urchins to their tasks repair; Their books of stature small they take in hand, Which with pellucid horn secured are, To save from finger wet the letters fair: The work so gay that on their back is seen, St. George's high achievements does declare; On which thilk wight that has y-gazing been, Kens the forth-coming rod, unpleasing sight, I ween!
Ah luckless he, and born beneath the beam Of evil star! it irks me whilst I write : As erst the bard* by Mulla's silver stream, Oft, as he told of deadly dolorous plight, Sigh'd as he sung, and did in tears indite. For brandishing the rod, she doth begin To loose the brogues, the stripling's late delight! And down they drop; appears his dainty skin, Fair as the furry-coat of whitest ermilin.
O ruthful scene! when from a nook obscure, His little sister doth his peril see: All playful as she sate, she grows demure; She finds full soon her wonted spirits flee: She meditates a prayer to set him free: Nor gentle pardon could this dame deny (If gentle pardon could with dames agree) To her sad grief that swells in either eye, And wings her so that all for pity she could die.
No longer can she now her shrieks command; And hardly she forbears, through awful fear, To rushen forth, and, with presumptuous hand, To stay harsh Justice in its mid career. On thee she calls, on thee her parent dear! (Ah! too remote to ward the shameful blow!) She sees no kind domestic visage near, And soon a flood of tears begins to flow; And gives a loose at last to unavailing woe.
But ah! what pen his piteous plight may trace? Or what device his loud laments explain? The form uncouth of his disguised face? The pallid hue that dyes his looks amain? The plenteous shower that does his cheek distain? When he, in abject wise, implores the dame, Ne hopeth aught of sweet reprieve to gain; Or when from high she levels well her aim, And, through the thatch, his cries each falling stroke proclaim.
The other tribe, aghast, with sore dismay, Attend, and con their tasks with mickle care:
By turns, astonied, every twig survey, And, from their fellow's hateful wounds, beware; Knowing, I wist, how each the same may share, Till fear has taught them a performance meet, And to the well-known chest the dame repair; Whence oft with sugar'd cates she doth them greet, And ginger-bread y-rare; now certes, doubly sweet! See to their seats they hie with merry glee, And in beseemly order sitten there; All but the wight of bum y-galled, he Abhorreth bench, and stool, and form, and chair; (This hand in mouth y-fix'd, that rends his hair ;) And eke with snubs profound, and heaving breast, Convulsions intermitting! does declare
His grievous wrong; his dame's unjust behest; And scorns her offer'd love, and shuns to be caress'd.
His face besprent with liquid crystal shines,
If so I deem aright, transcending worth and fame.
Behind some door, in melancholy thought, Mindless of food, he, dreary caitiff! pines, Ne for his fellows' joyaunce careth aught, But to the wind all merriment resigns; And deems it shame, if he to peace inclines: And many a sullen look askance is sent, Which for his dame's annoyance he designs; And still the more to pleasure him she's bent, The more doth he, perverse, her havior past resent.
Ah me! how much I fear lest pride it be!
Yet nurs'd with skill, what dazzling fruits appear!
Or bard sublime, if bard may e'er be so,
And this perhaps, who, censuring the design, Low lays the house which that of cards doth build,
Shall Dennis be! if rigid Fate incline, And many an epic to his rage shall yield; And many a poet quit th' Aonian field; And, sour'd by age, profound he shall appear, As he who now with 'sdainful fury thrill'd Surveys mine work; and levels many a sneer, And furls his wrinkly front, and cries, "What stuff is here ?"
But now Dan Phoebus gains the middle skie,
For well may Freedom erst so dearly won,
Enjoy, poor imps! enjoy your sportive trade,
See in each sprite some various bent appear!
Describing the sorrow of an ingenuous mind, on the melancholy event of a licentious amour.
WHY mourns my friend? why weeps his downcast
That eye where mirth, where fancy us'd to shine? Thy cheerful meads reprove that swelling sigh; Spring ne'er enamel'd fairer meads than thine. Art thou not lodg'd in Fortune's warm embrace? Wert thou not form'd by Nature's partial care? Blest in thy song, and blest in every grace
That wins the friend, or that enchants the fair? "Damon," said he, "thy partial praise restrain; Not Damon's friendship can my peace restore; Alas! his very praise awakes my pain,
And my poor wounded bosom bleeds the more. "For oh! that Nature on my birth had frown'd, Or Fortune fix'd me to some lowly cell;
Those sauntering on the green, with jocund leer Then had my bosom 'scap'd this fatal wound,
Salute the stranger passing on his way;
In pastry kings and queens th' allotted mite to
Eyes her bright form in Severn's ambient wave,
Nor had I bid these vernal sweets farewell.
"But led by Fortune's hand, her darling child,
"Of folly studious, e'en of vices vain,
Ah vices! gilded by the rich and gay!
I chas'd the guileless daughters of the plain,
"Poor artless maid! to stain thy spotless name,
Sustain'd by virtue, but betray'd by love.
I cloth'd each feature with affected scorn;
I bade my words their wonted softness wear,
Feels not the sharpness of a pang like mine.
When, scorn'd of virtue, stigmatiz'd by fame,
Low at my feet desponding Jessy lay.
Henry,' she said, 'by thy dear form subdu'd,
See the sad relics of a nymph undone !
I find, I find this rising sob renew'd:
"Amid the dreary gloom of night, I cry,
But foes that triumph, or but friends that mourn'
Alas! no more that joyous morn appears
And ting'd a mother's glowing cheek with shame.
"The vocal birds that raise their matin strain,
"If through the garden's flowery tribes I stray, Where bloom the jasmines that could once allure, Hope not to find delight in us, they say,
For we are spotless, Jessy; we are pure.
"Ye flowers! that well reproach a nymph so frail;
"Now the grave old alarm the gentler young; And all my fame's abhorr'd contagion flee: Trembles each lip, and falters every tongue,
That bids the morn propitious smile on me.
"Thus for your sake I shun each human eye; I bid the sweets of blooming youth adieu; To die I languish, but I dread to die,
Lest my sad fate should nourish pangs for you.
"Raise me from earth; the pains of want remove,
"Be but my friend; I ask no dearer name;
Force not my tongue to ask its scanty bread; Nor hurl thy Jessy to the vulgar crew; Not such the parent's board at which I fed!
Not such the precept from his lips I drew!
"Haply, when Age has silver'd o'er my hair, Malice may learn to scorn so mean a spoil; Envy may slight a face no longer fair;
And pity, welcome, to my native soil.'
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, And vow'd to waste her life in prayers for mine.
"I saw her foot the lofty bark ascend;
I saw her breast with every passion heave; I left her-torn from every earthly friend; Oh! my hard bosom, which could bear to leave!
"-Brief let me be; the fatal storm arose;
The billows rag'd, the pilot's art was vain; O'er the tall mast the circling surges close;
My Jessy-floats upon the watery plain!
"And see my youth's impetuous fires decay; Seek not to stop Reflection's bitter tear; But warn the frolic, and instruct the gay, From Jessy floating on her watery bier!"
A PASTORAL BALLAD,
IN FOUR PARTS. 1743.
Arbusta humilesque myricæ.-Virg.
YE shepherds so cheerful and gay,
Oh! call the poor wanderers home.
Nor talk of the change that ye find; None once was so watchful as I ;
I have left my dear Phyllis behind. Now I know what it is, to have strove
With the torture of doubt and desire; What it is to admire and to love,
And to leave her we love and admire. Ah! lead forth my flock in the morn,
And the damps of each evening repel; Alas! I am faint and forlorn :
-I have bade my dear Phyllis farewell. Since Phyllis vouchsaf'd me a look, I never once dreamt of my vine: May I lose both my pipe and my crook, If I knew of a kid that was mine! I priz'd ev'ry hour that went by,
Beyond all that had pleas'd me before; But now they are past, and I sigh ; And I grieve that I priz'd them no more.
But why do I languish in vain;
Why wander thus pensively here? Oh! why did I come from the plain, Where I fed on the smiles of my dear? They tell me, my favorite maid,
The pride of that valley, is flown; Alas! where with her I have stray'd, I could wander with pleasure, alone. When forc'd the fair nymph to forego, What anguish I felt at my heart! Yet I thought—but it might not be so'Twas with pain that she saw me depart. She gaz'd, as I slowly withdrew;
My path I could hardly discern; So sweetly she bade me adieu,
I thought that she bade me return.
The pilgrim that journeys all day
Is happy, nor heard to repine.
And my solace wherever I go.
My banks they are furnish'd with bees,
I seldom have met with a loss,
Such health do my fountains bestow: My fountains all border'd with moss, Where the hare-bells and violets grow.
Not a pine in my grove is there seen,
But with tendrils of woodbine is bound: Not a beech's more beautiful green,
But a sweet-brier entwines it around. Not my fields, in the prime of the year, More charms than my cattle unfold; Not a brook that is limpid and clear,
But it glitters with fishes of gold.
One would think she might like to retire
To prune the wild branches away.
From the plains, from the woodlands and groves,
As she may not be found to resign.
I have found out a gift for my fair;
I have found where the wood-pigeons breed: But let me that plunder forbear,
She will say 'twas a barbarous deed. For he ne'er could be true, she averr'd,
Who would rob a poor bird of its young: And I lov'd her the more when I heard
Such tenderness fall from her tongue.
I have heard her with sweetness unfold How that pity was due to-a dove: That it ever attended the bold;
And she call'd it the sister of love. But her words such a pleasure convey, So much I her accents adore, Let her speak, and whatever she say, Methinks I should love her the more.
Can a bosom so gentle remain
Unmov'd when her Corydon sighs?
Soft scenes of contentment and ease?
But where does my Phyllida stray?
And where are her grots and her bowers? 'Are the groves and the valleys as gay,
And the shepherds as gentle as ours? The groves may perhaps be as fair,
And the face of the valleys as fine; The swains may in manners compare, But their love is not equal to mine.
WHY will you my passion reprove?
With her mien she enamours the brave;
O you that have been of her train,
For when Paridel tries in the dance
O how, with one trivial glance,
And his crook is bestudded around;
"Tis his with mock passion to glow,
To the grove or the garden he strays,
What is eglantine after a shower?
"Then the lily no longer is white;
The rose is depriv'd of its bloom; Then the violets die with despite,
And the woodbines give up their perfume Thus glide the soft numbers along,
And he fancies no shepherd his peer; -Yet I never should envy the song, Were not Phyllis to lend it an ear.
Let his crook be with hyacinths bound,
IV. DISAPPOINTMENT. YE shepherds, give ear to my lay, And take no more heed of my sheep; They have nothing to do but to stray; I have nothing to do but to weep. Yet do not my folly reprove;
She was fair-and my passion begun; She smil'd-and I could not but love; She is faithless-and I am undone.
Perhaps I was void of all thought: Perhaps it was plain to foresee,
That a nymph so complete would be sought
She is faithless, and I am undone ;
Ye that witness the woes I endure, Let reason instruct you to shun
What it cannot instruct you to cure. Beware how you loiter in vain
Amid nymphs of a higher degree: It is not for me to explain
How fair, and how fickle, they be.
Alas! from the day that we met,
What hope of an end to my woes? When I cannot endure to forget
The glance that undid my repose.
The flower, and the shrub, and the tree,
The sound of a murmuring stream,
Henceforth shall be Corydon's theme. High transports are shown to the sight,
But we're not to find them our own; Fate never bestow'd such delight,
As I with my Phyllis had known.
O ye woods, spread your branches apace;
I would hide with the beasts of the chase;
Erewhile, in sportive circles round
She saw him wheel, and frisk, and bound;
Pleas'd on his various freaks to dwell,
She tells with what delight he stood To trace his features in the flood; Then skipp'd aloof with quaint amaze, And then drew near again to gaze.
She tells me how with eager speed
His every frolic, light as air,
But knows my Delia, timely wise, How soon this blameless era flies? While violence and craft succeed; Unfair design, and ruthless deed!
Soon would the vine his wounds deplore,
No more those bowers might Strephon see,
Each wayward passion soon would tear
Then mourn not the decrees of Fate, That gave his life so short a date; And I will join thy tenderest sighs, To think that youth so swiftly flies!