페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

The nymph at this stands as if of sense quite

void, Or as no sense but seeing she enjoy’d. At last from her full breast (of its close fire The sparks) these broken accents did expire. “ Oh why (as Arethusa, or the joy Of Galatea) cannot I (sweet boy) Melt to a food for thee? then (my fair sun!) Thou might'st (to bathe thee) to my bosom run." More would sh’ have said: but her full passion

stopt Her door of speech, and her eyes' foodgates op't. Struck with despair so dead, she scarce appears To breathe, or live, but by her sighs and tears; Yet though her silent tongue no words impart, Her speaking thoughts discours'd thus with her

heart. “ Fond Salmacis! why flag thy hopes ? thy mind What fears deject? on ; nor be e'er declin'd; But boldly thy fair enemy assail. See! thy desired prey's within the pale : And love (perhaps in pity of thy pain,) Offers what was deny'd thee by disdain. Be resolute; and him, whose conquering eyes Made thee his captive late, now make thy prize. Fear not; for pardon justly hope he may Who plunders him that does deny to pay.”

Thus she, rekindling her half-quench'd desires, Her cheeks with blushes, heart with boldness fires. Then forward moves a little; and anon, Full speed, unto the lake does madly run. But in the midst of her career repents, And stops; suspended ’twixt two cross intents,

Like to a wavering balance : on, afraid ;
Back, loath to go ; and yet to either sway'd.
Now she advances; then again retreats :
Jer fears now conquers, then her hopes defeats.
Struck with love's powerful thyrsus, at the last
(True Mænad like) her lighter robes off cast,
She hurries to the lake, then in she skips,
And in her wanton arms th' unwilling clips.

He, who love's fires ne'er felt in his cold breast,
With fear at such a strange surprise possess'd,
For help began to cry; when she at this,
Ah, peace !” says, and his mouth stopp'd with a

kiss. Yet struggling, he her wishes did deny, And from her shunn’d embraces strove to fly. But whilst he labours to get loose, this breast She faster cleaves; and his lips harder prest. So when Jove's bird a snake hath truss’d, his wings The more that plies, the more that 'bout 'em clings; And leaves it doubtful to the gazer's view, To tell which more is pris’ner of the two. Fearful to lose yet her new-gotten prize, The nymph to Heaven (sighing) erects her eyes: “And shall my love” (says she) “triumph in vain, Nor other trophy than a bare kiss gain? O Jove! if what fame sings of thee be true, If e'er thou didst a bull's fierce shape indue, And on thy back from the Phænician shore, Thro’ seas thy amorous theft in triumph bore, Assist my vows; and grant that I may prove As happy in this conquest of my love: No force let our embraces e'er disjoin ; Breast unto breast unite; our souls entwine ;

Tie heart to heart; and let the knitting charms
Sweet kisses be; the fetters, our soft arms.
Or if thou hast decreed that we must part,
Let that divorce divide life from my heart.”

Jove heard her prayers; and, suddenly as strange,
Made of them both a mutual interchange;
And by an undiscern'd conjunction,
Two late divided bodies knit in one:
Her body straight a manly vigour felt,
And his did to a female softness melt.

Yet thus united, they with difference Retain’d their proper reason, speech, and sense. He liv'd and she apart, yet each in either; Both one might well be said, yet that one neither.

This story by a river's side (as they Sat and discours’d the tedious hours away) Amintas to the coy Iole told : Then adds: “O thou more fair, in love more cold Than he! Heaven yet may make thee mine in spite, That can such difference, ice and fire, unite.” This with a sigh the shepherd spake ; whilst she With a coy smile mock'd his simplicity. But now the setting Sun posting away, Put both an end to their discourse and day:

THE METAMORPHOSIS OF LYRIAN AND

SYLVIA.

BY ST. AMANT.

Out of French.

Under that pleasant clime, where Nature plac'd
Those islands, with the name of Happy grac'd.
There liv'd a young and gentle shepherd late,
And, had he never lov’d, too fortunate;
His name was Lyrian : she whose looks enthrall'd
His amorous heart, was the fair Sylvia call'd.
The natives there, ’mongst whom still lives his

name,
(Nor shall the waste of time impair its fame)
Report, he bare, for sweetness of his song,
The prize from all Apollo's learned throng.
Yet nor his voice, nor worth that did exceed,
And ev’n in envy admiration breed,
Could e'er move her, that o'er his heart did reign,
To pleasing joys to turn his amorous pain.

The cheerful fields, and solitary groves,
(Once loyal secretaries to his loves)
Are still the witnesses, and still shall be,
Of his chaste thoughts, and firm fidelity.
For they alone were conscious of his grief,
They only gave his wounded soul relief,
When, with the weight of his sad woes opprest,
They pitying heard him ease in plaints his breast.

Ye gods! how oft resolv'd he, yet declin'd,
(Although he felt his heart with flames calcin’d)

[ocr errors]

Before those eyes h’ ador'd so, to display
His griefs ! such modesty his soul did sway.
And tho' h' had learn'd, and knew to suffer much,
Yet were his manners and discretion such,
Silence should first in death have quench’d his flame,
E’er he'd have rudely voic'd it unto fame.
Nor had it yet to any (had not stone
And stocks discover'd it) been ever known;
Which (for on them he us’d his plaints t'incise)
By chance presented it to Sylvia's eyes.

This seen, in her does scorn and anger move:
O Heavens! is't possible that such a love
She should despise, and him, who had profest
Himself her captive, as her foe detest?
Or that love's magic characters his hand
Had grav’d, should in her eye for cyphers stand ?
Or she should read them yet with so much spite,
Ne'er more to see them, 'less to raze them quite ?
Ah, 'tis too true! nor's that suificient,
Unless her tongue to her hard heart consent,
And 'gainst her faithful love, with cruel breath,
Pronounce the rigid sentence of his death.

What said he not his passion to excuse ? What flourishes us'd not his willing Muse, To prove his love (of which the noble ground Was her perfections) could no crime be found, If neither reason's self, nor justice, ought (Those for which Heaven is lov’d) as crimes be

thought! That the world's sovereign planet which the Earth And mortal's fates does govern from their birth, By firm decrees inrolled in the skies Had destin'd him a servant to her eyes.

« 이전계속 »