Imágenes de páginas

See through these veins the sapphire current shine!

'Twas Jove's own nectar gave th' ethereal hue: Can base plebeian forms contend with mine?

Display the lovely white, or match the blue? The painter strove to trace its azure ray; .

He chang'd his colours, and in vain he strove; He frownd I smiling view'd the faint essay ;

Poor youth! he litile knew it flow'd from Jove. Pitying his toil, the wondrous truth I told;

How amorous Jove trepann'd a mortal fair ; How through the race the generous current rollid,

And mock'd the poet's art, and painter's care. Yes, from the gods, from earliest Saturn, sprung

Our sacred race; through demigods, convey'd ; And he, ally'd to Phæbus, ever young,

My godlike boy, must wed their duteous maid. Oft when a mortal vow profanes my ears,

My sire's dread fury murmurs through the sky; And should I yield---his instant rage appears ;

He darts th' uplifted vengeance, and I die. Have you not heard unwonted thunders roll!

Have you not seen more horrid lightnings glare! 'Twas then a vulgar love ensnar'd my soul :

'Twas then--I hardly scap'd the fatal snare. 'Twas then a peasant pour'd his amorous vow,

All as I listend to his vulgar strain ;-
Yet such his beauty-would my birth allow,

Dear were the youth, and blissful were the plain. But oh! I faint! why wastes my vernal blooin,

In fruitless searches ever doom'd to rove? My nightly dreams the toilsome path resume, And I shall die_before I find


love. When last I slept, methought my ravish'd eye,

On distant heaths his radiant form survey'd ; Though night's thick clouds encompassid all the sky,

The gems that bound his brow, dispell'd the shade. O how this bosom kindled at the sight!

Led by their beams I urg’d the pleasing chase! Till, on a sudden, these with-held their light

All, all things envy thy sublime embrace. But now no more-behind the distant grove,

Wanders my destin'd youth, and chides my stay: See, see, he

grasps the steel-forbear, my loveIanthe comes; thy princess hastes away." Scornful she spoke, and heedless of reply,

The lovely maniac bounded o'er the plain : The piteous victiin of an angry sky!

Ah me! the victim of her proud disdain!

E L E G Y.

Describing the sorrow of an ingenuous mind, on the

melancholy events of a licentious amour.

Why mourns my friend! why weeps his downcast

eye! That eye where mirth, where fancy us'd to shine ? Thy cheerful meads reprove that swelling sigh;

Spring ne'er enameli'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 ; Then had my bosom ’scap'd this fatal wound,

Nor had I bid these vernal sweets, farewell.

But led by fortune's hand, her darling child,

My youth her vain licentious bliss admir’d; In fortune's train the syren flattery smild,

And rashly hallow'd all her queen inspir’d.
Of folly studious, ev'n of vices vain,

Ah vices! gilded by the rich and gay!
I chas'd the guileless daughters of the plain,

Nor dropt the chase till Jessy was my prey.
Poor artless maid! to stain thy spotless name,

Expense, and art, and toil, united strove ; To lure a breast that felt the purest flame,

Sustain'd by virtue, but betray'd by love. School'd in the science of love's mazy wiles,

I cloth'd each feature with affected scorn ; I spoke of jealous Joubts, and fickle smiles,

And, feigning, left her anxious and forlorn. Then, while the fancy'd rage alarm'd her care,

Warm to deny, and zealous to disprove ; I bade my words the wonted softness wear,

And seiz'd the minute of returning love. To thee, my Damon, dare I paint the rest ?

Will yet thy love a candid ear incline? Assur'd that virtue, by inisfortune prest,

Feels not the sharpness of a pang like mine. Nine envious moons matur'd her growing shame;

Ere-while to flaunt it in the face of day; When, scorn'd of virtue, stigmatiz'd by fame,

Low at my feet desponding Jessy lay. Henry, she said, by thy dear form subdued,

See the sad relics of a nymph undone ! I find, I find this rising sob renew'd :

I sigh in shades and sicken at the sun. Amid the dreary gloom of night, I cry,

When will the morn's once pleasing scenes return? Yet what can morn's returning ray supply,

But foes that triumph, or but friends that mourn!

Alas! no more that joyous morn appears

That led the tranquil hours of spotless fame; For I have steep'd a father's couch in tears,

And ting'd a mother's glowing cheek with shame. The vocal birds that raise their matin strain,

The sportive lambs, increase my pensive moan; All seem to chase me from the cheerful plain,

And talk of truth and innocence alone.

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 ;

Say, could ye with my virgin fame compare ?
The brightest bud that scents the vernal gale

Was not so fragrant, and was not so fair. Now the grave old alarm the gentler young;

And all my fame's abhorr’d contagion flee; Trembles each lip, and faulters 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


you, Raise me from earth, the pains of want remove,

And let me silent seek some friendly shore ; There only, banish d from the form I love,

My weeping virtue shall relapse no more. Be but my friend; I ask no dearer name;

Be such the meed of some more artful fair ; Nor could it heal my peace, or chase my shame,

That pity gave, what love refus'd to share. 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 precepts 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 pray’rs 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!


O MEMORY! celestial maid!

Who glean'st the flowerets cropt by time;
And suffering not a leaf to fade,

Preserv'st the blossoms of our prime;
Bring, bring those moments to my mind
When life was new, and Lesbia kind.
And bring that garland to my sight,
With which


favour'd crook she bound; And bring that wreath of roses bright

Which then my festive temples crown'd;
And to my raptur'd ear convey
The gentle things she deign'd to say.

« AnteriorContinuar »