Images de page
PDF
ePub

Of taste unpleasant; yet from those
Pure health, with cheerful vigour, flows;
And ftrength, unfeeling of decay,
Throughout the long laborious way.

Hence, as they scale that heav'nly road,
Each limb is lighten'd of its load;

From earth refining still they go,

And leave the mortal weight below;

Then spreads the straight, the doubtful clears,
And smooth the rugged path appears ;
For custom turns fatigue to ease,

And, taught by Virtue, pain can please.
At length, the toilsome journey o'er,
And near the bright celestial shore,
A gulph, black, fearful and profound,
Appears, of either world the bound,
Through darkness leading up to light;
Senfe backward fhrinks, and fhuns the fight;
For there the transitory train

Of time, and form, and care, and pain,
And matter's grofs, incumb'ring mass,
Man's late affociates cannot país;
But finking, quit th' immortal charge,
And leave the wond'ring foul at large;
Lightly the wings her obvious way,
And mingles with eternal day.

Thither, oh thither wing thy speed,
Though pleasure charm or pain impede!
To fuch th' All-bounteous Pow'r has given,
For prefent earth, a future heaven;
For trivial lofs, unmeafur'd gain;
And endless blifs for tranfient pain,

Then fear, ah! fear, to turn thy fight
Where yonder flowery fields invite:
Wide on the left the path-way bends,
And with pernicious ease descends;
There, fweet to sense, and fair to show,
New-planted Edens feem to blow,
Trees, that delicious poifon bear;
For death is vegetable there,

Hence is the frame of health unbrac'd,

Each finew flack'ning at the taste,
The foul to paffion yields her throne,
And fees with organs not her own;
While, like the flumb'rer in the night,
Pleas'd with the fhadowy dream of light,
Before her alienated eyes

The fcenes of fairy-land arife;

The puppet world's amufing fhow,

Dipt in the gaily-colour'd bow;

Sceptres, and wreaths, and glitt'ring things,

The toys of infants and of kings,

That tempt, along the baneful plain,

The idly wife and lightly vain,
Till, verging on the gulphy shore,
Sudden they fink-and rise no more.

But lift to what thy fates declare;
Though thou art woman, frail as fair,
If once thy fliding foot should stray,
Once quit yon heav'n-appointed way,
For thee, loft maid, for thee alone,
Nor prayers fhall plead, nor tears atone;
Reproach, fcorn, infamy, and hate,
On thy returning fteps fhall wait;

Thy form be loath'd by ev'ry eye,
And ev'ry foot thy prefence fly.

Thus arm'd with words of potent found,
Like guardian angels plac'd around,
A charm, by Truth divinely caft,
Forward our young advent'rer pafs'd;
Forth from her facred eye-lids fent,
Like morn, fore-running radiance went;
While Honour, handmaid late affigned,
Upheld her lucid train behind.

Awe-ftruck, the much-admiring crowd

Before the virgin-vifion bow'd;

Gaz'd with an ever-new delight,

And caught fresh virtue at the fight;

For not of earth's unequal frame

They deem the heav'n-compounded dame; ́

If matter, fure the most refin'd,

High-wrought, and temper'd into mind,

Some darling daughter of the day,
And body'd by her native ray.

Where'er the paffes, thoufands bend,
And thousands where the moves, attend;
Her ways obfervant eyes confess,
Her fteps pursuing praises blefs;
While to the elevated maid,
Oblations, as to Heav'n, are paid.

'Twas on an ever-blithfome day,
The jovial birth of rofy May,
When genial warmth, no more fuppreft,
New melts the froft in ev'ry breast;
The cheek with fecret flushing dyes,

And looks kind things from chafteft eyes;

[ocr errors]

The fun with healthier vifage glows,
Afide his clouded kerchief throws,
And dances up th' ethereal plain,
Where late he us'd to climb with pain,
While nature, as from bonds fet free,
Springs out, and gives a loose to glee.
And now, for momentary rest,
The Nymph her travell'd step reprefs'd,
Juft turn'd, to view the stage attain'd,
And gloried in the height the gain'd.
Outstretch'd before her wide furvey
The realms of fweet perdition lay,
And pity touch'd her foul with woe,
To fee a world fo loft below;

When ftraight the breeze began to breathe
Airs, gently wafted from beneath,

That bore commiffion'd witchcraft thence,
And reach'd her fympathy of fense;
No founds of difcord, that disclose

A people funk and loft in woes,
But, as of prefent good poffefs'd,
The very triumph of the blefs'd.
The maid in rapt attention hung,
While thus approaching Sirens sung :-
Hither, faireft, hither hafte,
Brightest beauty, come and taste,
What the pow'rs of blifs unfold,
Joys too mighty to be told;
Tafte what ecftafies they give;
Dying raptures taste and live.

In thy lap, difdaining measure,
Nature empties all her treasure,

Soft defires, that sweetly languish;
Fierce delights, that rife to anguish;
Faireft, doft thou yet delay ?
Brightest beauty, come away!

Lift not when the froward chide,
Sons of pedantry and pride,
Snarlers, to whofe feeble fenfe
April's funshine is offence;
Age and Envy will advise
E'en against the joy they prize.
Come, in Pleasure's balmy bowl
Slake the thirstings of thy foul,
Till thy raptur'd pow'rs are fainting
With enjoyment pass'd the painting:
Faireft, doft thou yet delay?
Brightest beauty, come away!
So fung the Sirens, as of yore,
Upon the falfe Aufonian fhore:
And oh! for that preventing chain,
That bound Ulyffes on the main,
That fo our Fair One might withstand
The covert ruio, now at hand.

The fong her charm'd attention drew, When now the tempters stood in view; Cur'ofity, with prying eyes,

And hands of bufy, bold emprife;
Like Hermes, feather'd were her feet;
And like fore-running Fancy, fleet;
By fearch untaught, by toil untir'd,
To novelty she still aspir'd,
Tafteless of ev'ry good poffefs'd,
And but in expectation bless'd.

« PrécédentContinuer »