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Without a stroke, to Love will yield,
And quit at once his useless shield.
T' insure your credit to my text,
A case in point is here annext.
Two cities of no mean estate,
Miletus this, and Myus that,
Had long in mutual conflicts bled,
While commerce droop'd with languid head.
And only while Miletus kept
Diana's feast, the contest slept :
A solemn truce was then allow'd :-
At Dian's shrine each city bow'd.
And, till the festive revels cease,
'Twas naught but harmony and peace.
Then gleams the hostile blade again,
And reeking gore manures the plain.
But Venus little could sustain
That Discord should eternal reign ;
So closed for ever their dispute :
And thus she found the means to do't.
From Myus to Miletus came
A girl (Pieria was her name)
Bright as the morn she was by nature,
And Venus now retouch'd each feature.
Then, at what time the sacred train
Attended at Diana's fane,
The prince of the Miletians came,
And saw the maid, and felt the flame.
And soon the prince his love address'd,
“Speak, charmer, speak thy first request ?
Whate'er thy wish, whate'er thy want,
Be't mine to make a double grant.”
But thee, fair maid, supreme in mind,
As well as charms, o'er womankind,
No idle choice seduced aside,
No giddy wish, no hurtful pride:
Thee could no costly gem insnare,
No trinket to adorn thy hair :
No Carian slave didst thou request,
No precious chain, no Tyrian vest.
But long didst stand with downcast eye,
As hesitating to reply ;
Essaying, but in vain, to speak,
While blushes dyed thy modest cheek.
At last thy falt'ring tongue with fear
Thus utter'd faintly in his ear,
Prince, to these walls give access free,
At all times, for my friends and me.'
Phrygius full well perceived her drift,
Yet nobly ratified his gift.
A peace was soon proclaim'd around,
And mighty Love the treaty bound:
A more sufficient guarantee,
Than any bonds or oaths could be.
And this example well may prove
That naught's so eloquent as Love:
For oft had orators, whose style was
Mellifluent as the seer's of Pylos, *
Convened, debated, and return'd,
While still the rage of battle burn'd,
But Cupid's sweeter elocution
Brought matters quick to a conclusion.
And hence the Ionian maids deduce
Th'expression now so much in use,
May we such noble presents have,
As erst the princely Phrygius gave!
And may our lords as faithful be,
As thine, Piëria, was to thee."
EPISTLE XVI. THE BASHFUL LOVER.
In secret pining thus I sigh'd,
Love, thou alone my flame dost know,
Who didst the fatal arrow guide,
And Venus, who prepared thy bow.
“Not to my friend, to her much less
Dare I my hopeless flame disclose;
And love conceal'd burns to excess,
And with redoubled ardour glows.
Seer of Fylos.] Nestor, famous in Homer for his eloquence: + Episile XVI.) A lover, who long had feared to disclose his passion, at length describes to his friend the circumstances of success.
“Me, Cupid, hast thou robb'd of rest;
Wound too the maid whose love I seek;
But pierce with lighter shaft her breast,
Lest grief make wan that blooming cheek.”
Sweet did she speak, and sweetly smile,
When lately I admittance had,
Yet seem'd she so reserved the while,
The inconsistence made me mad.
Her snowy hands, her lovely face,
I view'd, with admiration fillid :
Her easy negligence of dress,
Her bosom, seat of bliss, reveald!
Still dared I not my love make known,
But silently to Cupid pray'd,
“Grant that she first her passion own !"-
The powerful archer lent his aid.
Sudden she seized my hand-her
With am'rous elocution speak-
Instant her wonted rigour flies,
And Love sits dimpling on her cheek.
Intoxicated with desire,
Her panting neck she did incline;
And kiss'd me with such life and fire,
I thought her soul would blend with mine.
-Description can no further go,
T'express our happiness too weak-
But well did half-form'd accents show,
Our joys were more than we could speak.
EPISTLE XVII.* THE HAUGHTY BEAUTY.
XENOPEITHES TO DEMARETUS.
Yes, she is cold !-oh! how severely cold !
That breast Love's gentle taper ne'er could warm.-
Who could believe a heart of savage mould
Was e'er enshrined within so bright a form ?
* Epistle XVII.] From a lover complaining of the pride and insensibility of his mistress.
Yet not unnoticed in the fields of Love
Have I sustain'd full many a brisk campaign: For many a trophy strove,-nor vainly strove, –
While maids, and wives, and widows own'd my reign But now, alas ! that idle boast expires;
And Daphnis wears the laurels I had won. Now Xenopeithes pines with new desires,
And all his fame in one defeat is flown. Yes she is every way replete with wiles-
Loves she ?_'tis silence.—Is she loved ?-'tis scorn. Flattery she hates; at proffer'd gifts she smiles.
As law, must her imperious will be borne. Laughs she ?-her lips alone that laughter own;
No smiling dimples on her cheeks are spread; And once I ventured to reprove her frown,
And told her, “ Charms should love inspire, not dread." As well might I have spoken to the air,
Or to an ass have touch'd the melting lute. But still—The falling drop the stone will wear,
And still I'll ply my disappointed suit. With more delusive baits my hook I'll gild
Still on my line the slipp’ry prize shall play.
And 'tis Love's grand distinction not to yield,
But toil and toil, although he lose the day.
Ten years could vanquish heaven-defended Troy.
And oh! do thou, my friend, assist my aim(For thou hast felt the all-destructive boy)
The same our labours, as our skiff the same.
EPISTLE XVIII. EXCUSES.
CALLICÆTA TO MEIRACIOPHILA.
UNNUMBER'D pleasures are your own,
Who youth and beauty prize alone• The falling drop, &c.] An ancient proverb.
Nonne vides etiam guttas in saxa cadentes,
Humoris longo spatio pertundere saxa. LUCRET. lib. ül:
“Hard bodies, which the lightest stroke receive,
In length of time will moulder and decay ;
And stones with drops of rain are wash'd away."
† The same our labours, &c.] Another Greek proverb.
In eâdem es navi.
Cic. Epist. il * Epistle XVIII.] A panegyric on a dainty courtesan.
Who seek not riches to excess,
But place them after happiness :
Who from the sighing, am'rous crew
Select alone the lovely few;
And when a beauteous swain you meet,
His flame with mutual ardour greet;
But scorn the mean, the sottish hind,
Whose wealth would bribe you to be kind.
You can, like Spartan hounds, discover,
With quickest scent, a worthy lover,
Skilful to beat, to wind, to double,
that may reward
Then hoary dotards you despise-
'Tis that which proves you truly wise.
Were any wretch, deform’d and old,
To bring inestimable gold,
His treasures vainly were employ'd,
Though great as Tantalus enjoy'd :
Not all his presents could atone
For youth, and health, and vigour flown;
Haggard with age, and with disease,
You'd loathe his person-scorn his fees.
The mere description shocks one much-
How then th' original to touch ?-
Hence many a cogent cause appears
T advise equality of years ;
For similarity of ages
To similar pursuits engages.
arguments from truth
In praise of every diff'rent youth.
Say, has your love a little nose ?
How neat, how delicate it shows !
If aquiline, it arches high,
Oh ! the grand type of majesty !-
If neither large it be, nor small,
'Tis due proportion-best of all !
A swarthy skin, is manly grace ;
The fairer youths, a heavenly race;
In short, you catch at each pretence,
And torture words to every sense,
For every youthful swain to find
Excuses, why you should be kind ·
As drunkards every reason think
May sanction a demand for drink.