« ZurückWeiter »
O Zara! here, a ftory like my own *,
With mimick skill, in borrow'd names, was shown ;
An Indian chief, like me, by fraud betray'd,
partner in his woes an Indian maid.
I can't recal the scenes, 'tis pain too great ;
And, if recall’d, should shudder to relate !
To write the wonders here, I ftrive in vain ;
Each word would ask a thousand to explain.
The time shall come, O speed the lingering hour !
When Zara's charms shall lend description pow'r ;
When plac'd beside thee in the cool alcove,
Or thro' the green savannahs as we rove,
The frequent kiss shall interrupt the tale,
And looks shall speak my sense, tho' language fail.
Then shall the prodigies that round me rise,
Fill thy dear bosom with a sweet surprize ;
Then all my knowledge to thy faithful heart,
With danger gain d, fecurely I'll impart.
Methinks I see thy changing looks express
Th'alternate sense of pleasure and distress ;
As all the windings of my fate I trace,
And wing thy fancy swift from place to place.
Yet where, alas ! has flatt'ring thought convey'd
The ravilh'd lover with his darling maid?
Between us ftill unmeasur'd oceans roll,
Which hoftile barks infest, and storms controul.
Be calm, my bosom, since th' unmeasur'd main,
And hostile barks, and storms, are God's domain :
He roles refiftless, and his pow'r shall guide
My life in safety o'er the roaring tide ;
Shall bless the love that's built on Virtue's base,
And spare me to evangelize my race.
Farewel! thy prince ftill lives, and still is free:
Farewel! hope all things, and remember me.
• He alludes to the play of Oroonoko; at which he was present, and so af. fected as to be unable to continue, during it's performance, in the house..
AT THE COURT OF ANAMÁBOB, TO THE AFRICAN PRINCE
WHEN IN ENGLAND.
HOULD I the language of my heart conceal,
Nor warmly paint the paffion that I feel;
My rising with should groundless fears confine,
And doubts ungen’rous chill the glowing line ;
Would not my prince, with nobler warmth, disdain
That love, as languid, which could stoop to feign?
Let guilt diffemble in my faithful breaft.
Love reigns unblam'd, and be that love confess'd.
I give my bofom naked to thy view,
For what has shame with innocence to do?
In fancy now I clasp thee to my heart,
Exchange my vows, and all my joys impart.
I catch new transport from thy speaking eyes
But whence this-fad involuntary figh?
Why pants my bosom with intruding fears?
Why from my eyes distil unbidden tears?
Why do my hands thus tremble as I write?
Why fades thy lov'd idea from my fight?
O! art thou safe on Britain's happy shore,
From winds that bellow, and from seas that roar ?
And has my prince-(oh, more than mortal pain!)
Betray'd by ruffians, felt the captive's chain ?
Bound were those limbs, ordain'd alone to prove
The toils of empire, and the sweets of love?
Hold, hold! barbarians of the fierceft kind!
Fear Heav'n's red lightning-'tis a prince ye bind!
A prince whom no indignities could hide,
They knew, prefumptuous ! and the gods defy'd.
Where'er he moves, let love-join'd reverence rise,
And all mankind behold with Zara's eyes !
Thy breast alone, when bounding o’er the waves
To Freedom's climes, from slavery and Naves ;
Thy breast alone the pleasing thought could frame
Of what I felt, when thy dear letters came :
A thousand times I held them to my breast,
A thousand times my lips the paper press'd :
My full heart panted with a joy too strong,
And • Oh, my prince!' dy'd fault'ring on my tongue ;
Fainting, I funk, unequal to the strife,
And milder joys sustain'd returning life.
Hope, sweet enchantress! round my love-fick head
Delightful scenes of bless’d delusion spread.
• Come, come, my prince! my charmer! haste away;
Come, come!' I cry'd, thy Zara blames thy stay. • For thee the shrubs their richest sweets retain;..
For thee new colours wait to paint the plain ; • For thee cool breezes linger in the grove ; • The birds expect thee in the green alcove; • Till thy return, the rills forget to fall, • Till thy return, the sun, the soul of all!
• He comes, my maids, in his meridian charms,
• He comes refulgent to his Zara's arms!
• With jocund fongs proclaim my love's return;
• With jocund hearts his nuptial bed adorn!
Bright as the sun, yet gentle as the dove,
• He comes, uniting majesty with love !"
Too soon, alas! the bless’d delusion flies ;
Care swells my breast, and sorrow fills my eyes.
Ah! why do thy fond words suggest a fear;
Too vast, too númerous, those already here !
Ah! why with doubts torment my bleeding breaft,
Of seas which storms controul, and foes infeft!
My heart, in all this tedious absence, knows
No thoughts but thofe of feas, and storms, and foes.
Each joyless morning, with the rising fun,
Quick to the strand my feet spontaneous run:
• Where, where's my prince ! what tidings have ye brought!'
Of each I met, with pleading tears I fought.
In vain I fought; fome, conscious of my pain,
With horrid silence pointed to the main.
Some with a sneer the brutal thought express’d,
And plung'd the dagger of a barb'rous jest.
Day follow'd day, and still I wilh'd the next,
New hopes still flatter'd, and new doubts perplex'd ;
Day follow'd day, the wish'd to-morrow came,
My hopes, doubts, fears, anxieties, the same:
At length_O Power Supreme! whoe'er thou art,
Thy shrine the sky, the sea, the earth, or heart;
• Since every clime, and all th' unbounded main,
• And hostile barks, and storms, are thy domain,
• If faithful passion can thy bounty move,
• (And goodness sure must be the friend of love!)
• Safe to these arms my lovely prince restore,
• Safe to his Zara's arms, to part no more!
• O grant to virtue thy protecting care,
• And grant thy love to love's availing pray'r!
• Together then, and emulous to praise,
• A flowery altar to thy name we'll raise
• There, first and laft, on each returning day,
• To thee our vows of gratitude we'll pay!'
Fool that I was, to all my comfort blind!
Why, when thou went'st, did Zara stay behind ?
How could I fondly hope one joy to prove,
Midst all the wild anxieties of love?
Had fate in other mould thy Zara form’d,
And my bold breast in manly friendship warm’d,
How had I glow'd exulting at thy side !
How all the shafts of adverfe fate defy'd !
Or yet a woman, and not nerv'd for toil,
With thee, O had I turn'd a burning foil !
In the cold prison had I lain with thee,
In love still happy, we had still been free;
Then fortune bray'd, had own'd fuperior might,
And pin'd with envy, while we forc'd delight.
Why shouldīt thou bid thy love remember thee?
Thine all my thoughts have been, and still shall be.
Each night the cool savannahs have I fought,
And breath'd the fondness of enamour'd thought ;
The curling breezes murmur'd as I figh'd,
And hoarse, at distance, roar'd my foe, the tide :
My breast still haunted by a motley train,
Now doubts, now hopes prevaild, now joy, now pain!
Now fix'd I stand, my spirit fled to thine,
Nor note the time, nor see the fun decline !
Now rouz'd I start, and wing'd with fear I run ;
In vain, alas ! for 'tis myself I shun!
When kindly sleep it's lenient balm supply'd,
And gave that comfort waking thought deny'd.
Last night-but why, ah Zara! why impart,
.The fond, fond fancies of a love-fick heart !
Yet true delights on fancy's wings are brought,
And love's foft raptures realiz'd in thought
Last night I saw-methinks I see it now!
Heaven's awful concave round thy Zara bow;.'
When sudden thence a faming chariot flew,
Which earth receiv'd, and fix white courfers drew;
Then, quick transition, did thy Zara ride,
Borne to the chariot, wond'rous, by thy fide ;
All glorious both, from clime to clime we flew,
Each happy clime with fweet surprize we view.
A thousand voices sung, • All bliss betide
• The prince of Lybia, and his faithful bride!'
« 'Tis done, 'tis done !' resounded through the kies,
And quick aloft the car began to rise ;
Ten thousand beauties crouded on my fight,
Ten thousand glories beam'd a dazzling light.