« EelmineJätka »
To Cities and to Courts repair, Flatt'ry and Falfhood flourish there : There, all thy wretched Arts employ, Where Riches triumph over Joy; Where Paffions do with Int'reft barter, And Hymen holds, by Mammon's Charter; Where Truth, by Point of Law, is parry'd, And Knaves and Prudes are fix Times marry'd.
Lown on the rolling Surface of the Deep,
The mourning Maid at length reclines to
While conscious Vifions labour in her Breast, And airy Spectres difcompose her Rest. Sometimes the feems upon her native Shore, Blefs'd with the beauteous Youth, as heretofore; Hears him converfe, while from his tuneful
Melodious Senfe, in melting Mufic, rung: Sometimes fhe finds, or feems at least to find,. His fhatter'd Veffel forc'd before the Wind,
With foaming Waves, and furious Tempests tost,
The Maft, and broken Sails, and Sailors loft:
Sometimes her Dream, in frightful Forms, dif-
A Croud of Martyrs, cruel Love had made;
Lamenting Thybe's Shade before her ftands,
Shews her capacious Wound, and purple Hands;
Now lyric Sappho in the Tide expires,
Now faithful Porcia eats the living Fires.
At length awaking from her Dream, fhe hears
A Latian Voice, which thus falutes her Ears:
Unhappy Christian Maid! (for such, at least,
You, by your decent Habit, feem expreft)
Say, whence you came, and hither how con-
Expos'd to Sea, without the Seaman's Aid?
Soon as theNymph her nativeLanguage hears, Her frightedSoul was fill'd with Doubts and Fears: She thought, the adverse Wind, or refluent Main, Had forc'd her back to Liparis again; Till, ftarting up, a fpacious Land she spies; Barbarian Caves and Cots her Sight furprize: She fees a Matron on the neighb'ring Strand; Norknows the Matron, nor the neigh'bringLand. O! whither, whither am I blown? fhe cries; What Dens and Caves appear before my Eyes? And who inhabit 'em? or Beafts of Prey, Or Men, lefs kind, and crueller than they? To whom the Matron: Fly, nor dare to trust The faithless People of this hated Coaft:
Here Sailors oft their hapless Fate deplore;
Who'scape theSeas, are wreck'd upon the Shore:
For, when the forcefulWind, and foamingDeep,
To this inhuman Coast impel the Ship;
Around the Beach the rude Barbarians ftray,
Destroy the Mariners, and feize their Prey ;
By others Death, they keep themselves alive,
Subfift by Rapine, and by Ruin thrive.
Unhappy Fate! the mourning Nymph re-
O! had I perifh'd in the fafer Tide!
For much I fear, the Land I now furvey,
Dooms me to greater Evils, than the Sea:
And yet what greater Ills can Fate provide,
Than thus to feek for Death, and be deny'd?
Not fo my Felix 'fcap'd the raging Waves;
Him Neptune funk, and me unkindly faves;
Saves, only to increase my former Woes;
To fall, perhaps, by more ungen'rous Foes,
Or to indulge fome luftful Tyrant's Will:
But, Oye Heav'ns! avert the fatal Ill;
Protect my Honour in this foreign Coast,
The only Bleffing which I have not loft!
The lift'ning Matron wonders with Surprize; Nor hears,unmov'd,the weeping Damfel's Cries: But leads her to her neighb'ring Cottage, where She chears her fainting Soul with homely Fare;. Condoles her Grief, and begs her to disclose Her Country, Cares, and Caufe of all her Woes.
Excited by her Words, the penfive Maid
Preludes with Sighs, and thus, reluctant, said:
O hofpitable Dame! why would you move
A Wretch to tell a Tale of hapless Love?
Which, in relating, must renew my Grief;
Nor can I hope, nor you beftow Relief:
Yet, fince you feem a Partner of my Care,
'Tis just a Partner know the Weight I bear.
Not far from Ætna's flaming Mount I came,
From Liparis, and Conftance is my Name :
Great Honours and Eftates my Sire poffeft,
And,O! too much to make hisDaughter bless'd.
I once with Fame and Fortune was fupply'd,
Nor envy'd Empresses their Pomp and Pride;
Now, like a Meteor, fallen from its Height,
My Glory's vanish'd, and extinct my Light -
Full twenty Years in Happiness I pass'd,
And ev'ry Year was happier than the last.
Young Felix then his Love began to show;
(Young Felix was the Cause of all my Woe)
A beauteous Youth, endow'd with manlyGrace;
But far his noble Soul excell'd his Face:
And, tho' his niggard Fate had Wealth deny'd,
The Want of Wealth by Virtue was fupply'd.
Two Years to win my doubtful Heart he strove,
Two Years my doubtful Heart declin'd his Love:
Yet ftill he prefs'd me with his am'rous Tale,
Nor found at length, 'twas fruitless to affail:
For, by Degrees, infenfibly I came
To first approve, and then indulge, his Flame;
Nor could his Suit, nor would his Vows reprove;
I heard with Joy, nor thought it Sin to Love;
Till in my Breast imperious Cupid reign'd :
Alas! how eafy Love a Conquest gain'd !
And now my Reason check'd my Will no more;
But fed the Flame, it ftrove to quench before:
Yet durft not an immodest Thought approve;
Love rul'd my Heart, but Honour rul'd my Love:
I fcorn'd to stain my Virtue with a King;
As much my Lover fcorn'd fo mean a Thing.
What could we do? What cannot Love inspire?
The Youth reveals his Paffion to my Sire;
And in fuch melting Accents made it known,
As might have mov'd all Fathers, but my own:
But proudly he my Lover's Suit repell'd;
And, frowning, thus our mutual Ruin feal'd:
No more, prefumptuous Youth! thy Paffion
Suppress the Sparks, before they rife to Flame. How dar'ft thou, vulgar Wretch, ignobly born, My Daughter's Scandal, and her Father's Scorn! Afpire to wed fo far above thy Fate?
He fternly faid, and forc'd him from his Gate.
O Avarice! what Evils doft thou caufe, Breaking the Bands of Love, and Nature's Laws? Go, hungry God! and rule the narrow-foul'd; Collect, and guard their curft, bewitching Gold; Fit Province for thy Reign! too mean to prove The Charms of Nuptial Life, and Joys of Love! Ah!