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BY MR. JERNINGHAM,
HARMODIUS breath'd the rural air, nor found
His ruddy health with length of years decrease:
By duty prompted, Amabella crown'd
By partial Nature fram'd in Beauty's mould,
The lovelier beauties of a feeling heart,
Endear'd to all she met, each welcome day,
By Fortune's hand, with various bleffings fraught: When, lo! her gaiety's accustom❜d ray
Was quench'd, untimely, with the gloom of thought,
The fubject of this poem is founded on a circumftance that happened during the late war. A young lady, not meeting with the concurrence of her relations in favour of an officer for whom the expreffed her regard, was prevailed upon, by his folicitations, to confent to a clandeftine marriage; which took place on the day he fet out to join his regiment abroad, where he was unfortunately killed in an engagement.
What fix'd the bofom-thorn, affliction knows,
Remain'd unknown. 'Twas by the many guefs'd,
At length recovering, yet to grief devote,
Oft did Harmodius (at her ftate difmay'd)
To speed the moments of the loitering hour,
Within a spacious myrtle-woven bower,
Two turtle doves the penfive fair fecur'd.
Ye little captives,' would fhe often say,
Tho' here fecluded from the fields of air,
• Thro' yonder vernal grove forbid to stray,
And join the kindred train that wanton there;
''Gainft you the gunner never lifts his arm,
Nor o'er this manfion does the falcon fail; • You live unconscious of the ftorm's alarm, The rain impetuous, and the beating hail.
Nor here, by kind Compaffion unimprefs'd,
The school-boy ever rears his impious hand,
To fill with agony the feather'd breast,
And raze the little domes that love had plann'd,'
Their harmlefs joys difeafe too foon effac'd:
While down her cheek Compaffion's fhower diftill'd,
But Death's cold blaft life's crimson current chill'd,
Ill-fated turtle, round whose peaceful bower
The jocund loves fo lately wont to play; How funk, alas! in youth's exulting hour, To fell difeafe, to death th' untimely prey!
How filent is the voice, which, void of art,
That dear companion, that now widow'd dove,
Like thee, a widow too, condemn'd to mourn; 'No more to me does life unfold it's charms!
! Death, death forbids him ever to return!'
She faid-and funk into th' attendant's arms.
Her, fwift relapfing to her former state,
With boding fears, approach'd the serving train; This fcene's dread period tremblingly they wait, Nor were their boding fears indulg'd in vain.
Awakening from her trance, around fhe threw,
• Did ye not hear the clash of hostile spears?
Ah, mark ye not that breaft-plate ftain'd with gore What groan was that which pierc'd these fearful ears? He falls, he falls my warrior is no more!
Nor was, O Heaven! his Amabella near,
Kifs his cold lip, and clofe his fading eye!'
Of her diftrefs th' alarm'd Harmodius taught,
Say, what affliction has thy foul imprefs'd?
• Reveal-and thus relieve this anguish'd breast!
Ah, what avails the praise the brave obtain!
'Twas his to fwell the number of the flain,