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“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 fill’d:
Her easy negligence of dress,
Her bosom, seat of bliss, reveal'd!
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 eyes
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.t
EPISTLE XVIII.I 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,
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.
And you draw 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.
“ Come-we are young-let's t other pot”.
“ The tankard here, to cheer the old
Some drink because “ 'tis parching hot,
And some, because “ 'tis bitter cold.”.
T'exemplify the love of wine,
I cease to write-the case is mine.
EPISTLE XIX.* MERIT RESCUED FROM SHAME.
EUPHRONIUM TO THELXINOE.
Sure Fortune has smiled on Melissa benign,
From the theatre freed, in abundance to shine:
While I, less in favour, am still doom'd to linger
My life on the stage, an unfortunate singer.
Melissa's beginning was poor past expression-
For when she first studied her scenic profession,
Her mother and she in a pitiful cot
Were starving together, and scarce worth a groat;
But soon she eclipsed all the girls of her age,
And her musical talents engaged the whole stage.
At first people sneer'd, to distinguish their taste;
But they soon turn'd to praise, and they envied at last.
Her charms, and her dress, and her musical skill,
Soon gain'd her rich generous lovers at will.
She was splendidly kept,--but was highly afraid
Lest breeding should spoil so important a trade.
(And frequently breeding, to tell you the truth,
Is the worst of destroyers to beauty and youth.)
Among the old gossips she learn'd to divine
Whene'er she conceived, by infallible sign:
So when the case happen'd, she told her old dame,
And to me for advice, as more knowing, they came.
I gave my opinion, and added a drug,
Which demolish'd her fears, expeditious and snug.
But with Charicles when she commenced an affair,
Whose wealth was immense, as his beauty was rare,
She changed her request to the rulers above,
And with fervency pray'd for a pledge of their love.
The gods of Olympus consentingly smiled,
And Lucina's assistance deliver'd the child . Epistle XIX.] From a girl on the stage to her friend, describing the good fortune of a young actress of their acquaintance.
And Lucina's assistance, &c.] Both Juno and Diana were worshipped under this name, as goddesses presiding over child-birth,
A chiid with all kinds of perfection endued,
And the father himself in a miniature view'd.
The mother with rapture beheld the young boy,
The little Eutychides, offspring of joy.
For children, the more they are beautiful, move
With greater incitement their parents to love.
While Charicles, blest in an infant so dear,
Determined the faune of its mother to clear :
From her scenic employment he rescued the fair,
His hand, and his heart, and his riches to share :
And the lady forgot, while she gazed on her son,
Both the life she had led, and the risk she had run.
A visit I lately to Pythias paid,
(For she took a new name when she left her old trade,)
She show'd me her jewels, each ring, and each toy;
–And be sure I'd a sight of her sweet little boy :
His cheek I kiss'd sweetly—but tenderly too;
For 'twas soft as the rose, it resembled in hue.--
The lady's so changed,—'tis amazing to see't;
So modest her air, and her look so discreet :
Her hair braided neat, without art or design;
Her ornaments grave; neither flaunty nor fine.
When she walks, 'tis with caution and prudence, they say,
And you'd think by her steps she had ne'er gone astray.
So one of these days, when the time you can sparé,
I advise you, Thelxinoë, visit the fair :
But be very exact not Melissa to name her,
'Twould look like an insult intended to shame her:
The word, when I saw her, was at my tongue's end,
But they gave me a jog, and the hint saved your friend.
EPISTLE XX.* THE JAILOR TRICKED.
PHYLACIDES TO PHRURION.
LATE an adultrous youth I seized;
And “guard him closely," was the charge.
But with his age and figure pleased,
I kept him prisoner at large.
Unfetter'd through my house he stray'd :
Thought I, he may reform his life. -
He my compassion well repaid,
And-gratefully seduced my wife. Epistle XX.] From a jailor, whose wife was seduced by a young man tonfined in his house for adultery.