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And thou, kind Love, my sinking limbs sustain,
Spread thy soft wings, and waft me o'er the main,
Nor let a lover's death the guiltless flood profane! 211
On Phoebus' shrine my harp I'll then bestow,
And this inscription shall be plac'd below:
"Here she who sung, to him that did inspire,
Sappho to Phoebus consecrates her lyre;



"What suits with Sappho, Phoebus, suits with thee; "The gift, the giver, and the god agree."

But why, alas! relentless youth, ah why To distant seas must tender Sappho fly?

Thy charms than those may far more pow'rful be, 220 And Phoebus' self is less a god to me.

Ah! canst thou doom me to the rocks and sea,

Oh, far more faithless and more hard than they?
Ah! canst thou rather see this tender breast
Dash'd to these rocks, than to thy bosom press'd? 225

Tu quoque mollis amor, pennas suppone cadenti,
Ne sim Leucadiæ mortua crimen aquæ.

Inde chelyn Phoebo communia munera ponam; 212
Et sub ea versus unus et alter erunt.

"Grata lyram posui tibi, Phoebe, poetria Sappho: 215
"Convenit illa mihi, convenit illa tibi.”
Cur tamen Actiacas miseram me mittis ad oras,
Cum profugum possis ipse referre pedem ?
Tu mihi Leucadia potes esse salubrior unda :
Et forma et meritis tu mihi Phoebus eris.
An potes, o scopulis undaque ferocior illa,
Si moriar, titulum mortis habere meæ ?


This breast which once, in vain! you lik'd so well; Where the Loves play'd, and where the Muses dwell. Alas! the Muses now no more inspire,

Untun'd my lute, and silent is my lyre;
My languid numbers have forgot to flow,
And fancy sinks beneath a weight of woe.
Ye Lesbian Virgins, and ye Lesbian Dames,
Themes of my verse, and objects of my flames,


No more your groves with my glad songs shall ring,

No more these hands shall touch the trembling string : My Phaon 's fled, and I those arts resign,


(Wretch that I am, to call that Phaon mine!)

Return, fair Youth! return, and bring along
Joy to my soul, and vigour to my song:

At quanto melius jungi mea pectora tecum,

Quam poterant saxis præcipitanda dari!


Hæc sunt illa, Phaon, quæ tu laudare solebas;

Visaque sunt toties ingeniosa tibi.

Nunc vellem facunda forent: dolor artibus obstat;
Ingeniumque meis substitit omne malis.

Non mihi respondent veteres in carmina vires:
Plectra dolore tacent; muta dolore lyra est.
Lesbides æquoreæ, nupturaque nuptaque proles;
Lesbides, Æolia nomina dicta lyra;

Lesbides, infamem quæ me fecistis amatæ ;

Desinite ad citharas turba venire meas:


Abstulit omne Phaon, quod vobis ante placebat. 236 (Me miseram! dixi quam modo pene, meus!)

Absent from thee, the poet's flame expires;
But ah! how fiercely burn the lover's fires!

Gods! can no pray'rs, no sighs, no numbers move
One savage heart, or teach it how to love?

The winds my pray'rs, my sighs, my numbers bear,

The flying winds have lost them all in air!
Oh when, alas! shall more auspicious gales
To these fond eyes restore thy welcome sails?
If you return---ah why these long delays?
Poor Sappho dies, while careless Phaon stays.
O launch thy bark, nor fear the wat'ry plain:
Venus for thee shall smooth her native main.
O launch thy bark, secure of prosp'rous gales:
Cupid for thee shall spread the swelling sails.
If you will fly---(yet ah! what cause can be,



Too cruel youth, that you should fly from me?) 255

Efficite ut redeat: vates quoque vestra redibit.

Ingenio vires ille dat, ille rapit.


Ecquid ago precibus? pectusne agreste movetur?

An riget? et zephyri verba caduca ferunt? Qui mea verba ferunt, vellem tua vela referrent.


Hoc te, si saperes, lente, decebat opus.

Sive redis, puppique tuæ votiva parantur

Munera; quid laceras pectora nostra mora?

Solve ratem: Venus orta mari, mare præstet eunti.
Aura dabit cursum; tn modo solve ratem.

Ipse gubernabit residens in puppe Cupido;
Ipse dabit tenera vela legetque manu.


If not from Phaon I must hope for ease,
Ah! let me seek it from the raging seas:
To raging seas unpity'd I'll remove,
And either cease to live, or cease to love!

Sive juvat longe fugisse Pelasgida Sappho;
(Non tamen invenies, cur ego digna fuga.)
[O saltem miseræ, Crudelis, epistola dicat:
Ut mihi Leucadiæ fata petantur aquæ.]



The Argument.

Abelard and Eloisa flourished in the twelfth century; they were two of the most distinguished persons of their age in learning and beauty; but for nothing more famous than for their unfortunate passion. After a long course of calamities, they retired each to a several convent, and consecrated the remainder of their days to religion. It was many years after this separation that a letter of Abelard's to a friend, which contained the history of his misfortune, fell into the hands of Eloisa, This awakening all her tenderness, occasioned those celebrated Letters, (out of which the following is partly extracted) which give so lively a picture of the struggles of Grace and Nature, Virtue, and Passion.

In these deep solitudes and awful cells,
Where heav'nly-pensive Contemplation dwells,
And ever-musing Melancholy reigns,

What means this tumult in a vestal's veins?
Why rove my thoughts beyond this last retreat?
Why feels my heart its long-forgotten heat?
Yet, yet I love!---From Abelard it came,
And Eloisa yet must kiss the name.

Dear fatal name! rest ever unreveal'd,
Nor pass these lips, in holy silence seal'd;
Hide it, my heart, within that close disguise,
Where mix'd with God's, his lov'd idea lies;
O write it not, my hand---the name appears
Already written---wash it out, my tears!
In vain lost Eloisa weeps and prays,


Her heart still dictates, and her hand obeys. Relentless walls! whose darksome round contains

Repentant sighs, and voluntary pains;




Volume I.


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