« ZurückWeiter »
Where, loft to love, how often has the fray'd !
When the fond lover led his blushing maid,
When his soft lips, too eloquent his art,
Pour'd the warm wish, and breath'd out all his heart !
Ah, once lov'd seats ! your pleasing scenes are o'er,
Nor can you charm, fince he can love no more ;
Tho' smile your lawns with vernal glories crown'd,
In vain gay Nature paints th' enamellid ground;
While thro' your solitary paths I rove,
A prey to grief, to ficknefs, and to love.
Tho' gentle zephyrs fan the bending bowers,
Tho' breathes the incense of your opening flowers,
Nor opening flowers, nor gentle zephyrs charm,
Nor beauteous scenes a grief like mine difarm :
Fade every flower, and languish ev'ry sense,
Ye have no sweets for fallen innocence !
Torn by remorse, fad victim of despair,
Where shall I turn or where address my prayer ?
Far as the morn it's early beam displays,
Or where the star of evening darts it's rays ;
Far as wide earth is stretch'd, or oceans roll,
Where blow the winds, or heaven invests the pole,
In vain my Auttering foul would wing it's way;
Stern Care pursues, where'er the wretched stray.
Soft God of Sleep, whose ever-peaceful reign
Lulls earth, and heav'n, and all th' extended main,
Powerful to give the labouring heart to rest,
To wipe the tear, and heal the wounded breaft,
Say, by what crime offended, flies from me,
Invok'd, thy unpropitious deity ?
Or dooms, on racks of wildelt Fancy torn,
In dreams, my agonizing foul to mourn?
Why am I oft on angry billows toss'd,
Now in some wide and dreary desart loft?
Why yet in life infernal tortures feel,
Bound by fierce demons to some rapid wheel?
K k 2
Now seem to climb, while hills on hills arise,
In vain ; or fall in tempefts from the skies :
Tread burning plains, or swim in seas of fire,
Just reach the shore, then see the shore retire !
As oft, dear youth! thy pleasing form appears ;
I stretch my arms, and wake diffolv'd in tears ;
Yet waking Fancy all that lofs fupplies,
And still I view thee with a lover's eyes ;
Entranc'd in thought, o'er all thy charms I gaze,
See thy bright eyes diffuse their softest rays,
Hang on thy hand, and on thy breast reclin'd,
Play with thy locks that waver with the wind ;
Joy in thy joy, or in thy sorrows join,
And on thy lips my spirit mix with thine.
Now o'er dark wilds or rugged rocks we stray,
Love lights the gloom, and smooths the dreary way;
Now on soft banks our weary limbs repose,
Where every flower of vernal beauty glows;
But light as air, each pleasing vision flew,
Swift as the sun dispels the morning dew;
While with the day returns the sense of woe :
We wake more wretched when the cheat we know.
Imagination ! miftrefs of the soul,
What powers unseen the active mind controul ?
And fill the waving thought, or busy sleep?
Where not a breèze disturbs the tranquil deep,
Nor lofty pines thro' all the forest move,
Why stir the motions of refiftless love?
Urg’d by the golden morn, the night recedes,
And year to year in changeful courfe succeeds ;
Nor night, nor marn, nor years to me restore
The peace which Laura's heart poffefs'd before ;
Involv'd in clouds one darksome scene I view;
Bleed the fame wounds, and all my pains renew.
O boast of Laura's long-forgotten praise ! Paft are the triumphs of my happier days,
When plac'd supreme on Beauty's radiant throne,
I saw with conscious pride each heart my own ;
Where'er I turn'd, a thousand nymphs admir'd;
Whene'er I smild, a thousand swains expir’d:
I spoke, 'twas musick dwelt upon my tongue;
I mov'd a goddess, and an angel sung.
My careless steps in joys were taught to rove ;
Each voice was flattery, and each look was love;
But Beauty's power, too mighty long to last,
Fled on the wings of rapid time, is past.
As some proud vessel to the prosperous gale
Her streamer waves, and spreads the filken fail,
While filver oars, to flutes soft breathing, sweep,
With measur'd strokes, the scarcely heaving deep;
But soon tempestuous clouds the scene deform,
And the loud surge remurmurs to the storm :
Thus big with hope, from dark suspicion free,
I fail'd with transport on Life's fummer sea;
The gay attendants of my happy state,
The Smiles, the Graces round were seen to wait,
And all the moments, as they swiftly flew,
Shower'd down soft joys, and pleasures ever new.
How chang'd this fleeting image of a day !
How sets in awful gloom the ev'ning ray !
While, fix'd on earth her eye in fad suspense,
Pours the deep figh, inceffant Penitence.
If youthful charms decay with age or pain, Beauty, thy crouded worshippers how vain ! Why then such crowds of incense round ascend ? Why prostrate monarchs at thy altars bend ? Why earth's and ocean's mighty bounds explore At once to win thee, and increase thy power? Let sad example Reason's dictates aid ! Here see what ruin grief and love have made ; E'en Love, who lives by Beauty's smiles caress'd, Baks in her eyes, and wantons on her brealt,
With cruel force the fatal shaft employs,
And sooneft what he moft adores destroys.
How cold I feel life's idle current flow,
Where once the dancing spirits lov'd to glow!
No more these eyes with youthful rapture sine,
Nor cheeks soft blushing speak a warmth divine ;
Graceful no more amid the festive dance
My steps with eafy dignity advance,
And all the glossy locks, whose ringlets (pread,
fair neck, the honours of my head, Cease the neat labours of my hand to know ; Ill fuits the care of elegance with woe!
Why did not Nature, when she gave to charm
With unrelenting pride my bofom arm?
Why was my soul it's tender pity taught,
Each foft affection, and each generous thought?
Hence spring my sorrows, hence with fighs I prove
How feeble woman, and how fierce is love!
In unavailing streams my tears are shed ;
Sad Laura's bliss is with Lorenzo fled.
For thee, false youth, was every joy resign'd,
Young health, sweet peace, and innocence of mind;
Are these the constant vows thy tongue profess'd,
When first thy arms my yielding beauties press'd?
Thus did thy kiss dispel my empty fears,
Or winning voice delight my raptur'd ears ;
Thus swore thy lips, by ocean, earth, and sky ;
By hell's dread powers, and Heaven's all-piercing eye?
Yawns not the grave for thee? why sleeps the storm
To blast thy limbs, and rend thy perjur'd form?
Unmov'd, O faithiefs! canst thou hear my pain,
Like the proud rocks which brave th' unwearied main ?
Sooner the shipwreck'd pilot fall appease
With sighs and howling winds, with tears the feas,
Than Laura's prayers thy heart unfeeling move,
lost to fame, to honour, and to love !
Nurs'd in dark caverns, on some mountain wild,
To cruel manhood grew the daring child,
No female breast supply'd thy infant food,
But tygers growling o'er their favage brood.
Curs'd be that fatal hour thy charms were seen,
While yet this mind was guiltless and serene !
With thee, false man, I urg'd my hafty fight,
And dar'd the horrors of tempestuous night,
Nor fear'd with thee thro' plains unknown to rove,
Deaf to the dictates of paternal love.
In vain for me a parent's tears were shed,
And to the grave descends his hoary head!
my feet entranc'd
And pour'd in tender sighs his soul away,
Fond, foolish heart! to think the tale divine;
Why started not my hands when press'd in thine ?
Too well remembrance paints the fatal hour
When Love, great conqueror, summon'd all his power ;
When bolder grown, your glances flash'd with fire,
And your pale lips all trembled with desire ;
blood tumultuous flew,
From every pore distill’d the chilling dew,
When Shame presag n spoke each future pain,
And struggling Virtue arm'd my soul in vain !
But, О let filence all my weakness veil,
And burninblushes only tell the tale !
Ah, faithless man ! and thou more wretched maid !
To guilt, and grief, and misery betray'd !
Far fies thy lover : to fome distant plain
Now cleaves it's bounding bark the peaceful main ;
Avenging Heaven, that heard the vows he swore,
Bid howl the blackening storm, and thunder roar,
Till waves on waves in tumbling mountains roll,
Now link to hell, and now ascend the pole ;
Then on some plank o'er foaming billows borne,
Trembling, his perjur'd faith the wretch shall mourn ;