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Of folly studious, e'en of vices vain,
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;
Then, while the fancy'd rage alarm'd her care,
To thee, my Damon, dare I paint the rest?
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 subdu'd, "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
All seem to chase me from the cheerful plain,
"If thro' the garden's flow'ry tribes I stray,
Hope not to find delight in us, they say,
Ye flow'rs! 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,
That bids the morn propitious smile on me.
"Thus for your sake I shun each human eye;
"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,
Envy may slight a face no longer fair;
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,-
My Jessy floats upon the wat'ry plain!
And, see my youth's impetuous fires decay;
TO A FRIEND.
On some slight occasion estranged from him.
HEALTH to my Friend, and many a cheerful day
And, 'till they crown our union, gently glide.
Ah me! too swiftly fleets our vernal bloom!
Lost to our wonted friendship, lost to joy! Soon may thy breast the cordial wish resume,
Ere wintry doubt its tender warmth destroy. Say, were it our's, by Fortune's wild command, By chance to meet beneath the torrid zone; Wou'dst thou reject thy Damon's plighted hand? Wou'dst thou with scorn thy once lov'd friend disown?
Life is that stranger land, that alien clime; Shall kindred souls forego their social claim? Launch'd in the vast abyss of space and time,
Shall dark suspicion quench the gen'rous flame? Myriads of souls, that knew one parent mold,
See sadly sever'd by the laws of chance! Myriads, in Time's perennial list enroll'd,
Forbid by Fate to change one transient glance But we have met-where ills of every form,
Where passions rage, and hurricanes descend: Say, shall we nurse the rage, assist the storm,
And guide them to the bosom of a friend?
Yes, we have met-thro' rapine, fraud, and wrong,
Might our joint aid the paths of peace explore! Why leave thy friend amid the boist'rous throng, Ere death divide us, and we meet no more?
For oh! pale sickness warns thy friend
And point the wither'd regions of the tomb.
Then the keen anguish from thine eye shall start, Sad as thou follow'st my untimely bier ; "Fool that I was-if friends so soon must part, "To let suspicion intermix a fear."