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Alas! the Mufes now no more infpire,
Untun'd my lute, and filent is my lyre;
My languid numbers have forgot to flow,
And fancy finks 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 fongs shall ring,
No more these hands shall touch the trembling ftring:
My Phaon's fled, and I those arts refign,
(Wretch that I am, to call that Phaon mine!).
Return, fair youth, return, and bring along
Joy to my foul, and vigour to my fong:
Absent from thee, the Poet's flame expires ;
But ah! how fiercely burn the Lover's fires?
Gods! can no prayers, no fighs, no numbers, move
One favage heart, or teach it how to love?
Nunc vellem facunda forent: dolor artibus obftat;
Ingeniumque meis substitit omne malis.
Non mihi refpondent veteres in carmina vires.
Plectra dolore tacent: muta dolore lyra eft.
Lesbides aequoreae, nupturaque nuptaque proles;
Lesbides, Aeolia nomina dicta lyra;
Lesbides, infamem quae me feciftis amatae;
Definite ad citharas turba venire meas.
Abftulit omne Phaon, quod vobis ante placebat. 235
(Me miferam dixi quam modo pene, meus!)
Efficite ut redeat: vates quoque vestra redibit.
Ingenio vires ille dat, ille rapit.
Ecquid ago precibus? pectufne agrefte movetur?
An riget? et Zephyri verba caduca ferunt?
The winds my prayers, my fighs, my numbers bear,
The flying winds have loft them all in air!
Oh when, alas! fhall more aufpicious gales
To these fond eyes reftore thy welcome fails?
If you return-ah why these long delays?
Poor Sappho dies while careless Phaon stays.
O launch thy bark, nor fear the watery plain;
Venus for thee fhall smooth her native main.
O launch thy bark, secure of profperous gales;
Cupid for thee shall spread the fwelling fails.
If you will fly-(yet ah! what cause can be,
Too cruel youth, that you fhould fly from me?)
If not from Phaon I must hope for ease,
Ah let me feek it from the raging feas:
To raging feas unpity'd I'll remove,
And either cease to live, or ceafe to love!
Qui mea verba ferunt, vellem tua vela referrent.
Hoc te, fi faperes, lente, decebat opus.
Sive redis, puppique tuae votiva parantur
Munera; quid laceras pectora nostra mora ?
Solve ratem: Venus orta mari, mare praeftat eunti.
Aura dabit curfum; tu modo folve ratem.
Ipfe gubernabit refidens in puppe Cupido:
Ipfe dabit tenera vela legetque manu.
Sive juvat longe fugiffe Pelafgida Sappho ;
(Non tamen invenies, cur ego digna fuga.)
[O faltem miferae, Crudelis, epiftola dicat:
Ut mihi Leucadiae fata petantur aquae.]
ABELARD and Eloifa flourished in the twelfth Century; they were two of the moft diftinguished perfons of their age in learning and beauty, but for nothing more famous than for their unfortunate paffion. After a long course of calamities, they retired each to a several Convent, and confecrated the remainder of their days to religion. It was many years after this feparation, that a letter of Abelard's to a Friend, which contained the history of his misfortune, fell into the hands of Eloifa. This awakening all her tenderness, occafioned those celebrated letters (out of which the following is partly extracted) which give fo lively a picture of the ftruggles of grace and nature, virtue and paffion.
N these deep folitudes and awful cells,
Where heavenly penfive contemplation dwells,
And ever-mufing melancholy reigns;
What means this tumult in a Veftal'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 Eloïsa yet must kiss the name.
Dear fatal name! reft ever unreveal'd,
Nor pafs these lips in holy filence feal'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 loft Eloïfa weeps and prays,
Her heart ftill dictates, and her hand obeys.
Ye rugged rocks! which holy knees have worn;
Ye grots and caverns fhagg'd with horrid thorn!
Shrines where their vigils pale-eyed virgins keep,
And pitying faints, whofe ftatues learn to weep!
Though cold like you, unmov'd and filent grown,
I have not yet forgot myself to stone.