페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

But what adventures more befel 'em,
The Muse hath now no time to tell 'em :
How Johnny wheedled, threaten'd, fawn'd,
Till Phillis all her trinkets pawn'd;
How oft she broke her marriage-vows,
In kindness, to maintain her spouse,
Till swains unwholsome spoil'd the trade ;
For now the surgeons must be paid,
To whom those perquisites are gone,
In Christian justice due to John.
When food and raiment now grew scarce,
Fate put a period to the farce;
And with exact poetick justice-
For John is landlord, Phillis hostess :
They keep at Staines the Old Blue Boar,
Are cat and dog, and rogue and whore.

E L E G Y,

WRITTEN IN THE YEAR

WHEN THE RIGHTS OF SEPULTURE WERE SO FREQUENTLY VIOLATED.

BY W. SHENSTONE, ESQ.

SAY
AY, gentle Sleep! that lov'it the gloom of night;

Parent of dreams! thou great magician ! say,
Whence my late vision thus endures the light,

Thus haunts my fancy thro' the glare of day. The filent moon had scal'd the vaulted skies,

And anxious care resign'd my limbs to rest ; A sudden lustre ftruck my wond'ring eyes,

And Silvia stood before my couch confess’d.

Ah! not the nymph, so blooming and so gay,

That led the dance beneath the festive shade ; But she that, in the morning of her day,

Entomb'd beneath the grass-green fod was laid,

No

No more her eyes their wonted radiance cast;

No more her breast inspir’d the lover's flame; No more her cheek the Pæftan rose surpafs’d;

Yet seem'd her lip's ethereal smile the fame.

Nor such her hair, as deck'd her living face;

Nor such her voice, as charm'd the lift'ning crowd ; Nor such her dress, as heighten'd ev'ry,grace ;

Alas! all vanilh'd for the mournful shroud !

Yet seem'd her lip's ethereal charm the same ;

That dear distinction ev'ry doubt remov'd: Perith the lover, whose imperfect flame

Forgets one feature of the nymph he lov'd!

Damon,' she faid, ' mine hour allotted fies;

Oh! do not waste it with a fruitless tear ! • Tho' griev'd to see thy Silvia's pale disguise;

Suspend thy forrow, and attentive hear.

• So may thy Muse with virtuous fame be bless'd!

So be thy love with mutual love repaid ! So may thy bones in sacred silence reft

• Fast by the reliques of some happier maid !

• Thou know'st how, ling’ring on a distant fhore,

· Disease invidious nipp'd my flow'ry prime ;
And, oh! what pangs my tender bosom tore,
• To think I ne’er must view my native clime !

- No friend was near to raise my drooping head,

• No dear companion wept to see me die :
Lodge me within my native foil," I faid,
" There my fond parents honour'd reliques lie.

Tho now debarr'd of each domestick tear, “ Unknown, forgot, I meet the fatal blow ; 6* There many a friend shall grace my woeful bier,

66 And many a figh fhall rise, and tear shall flow."

• I spoke; nor Fate forebore his trembling spoil:

• Some venal mourner lent his careless aid; • And foon they bore 'me to my native soil,

" Where my fond parents dear remains were laid.

« 'Twas then the youths; from ev'ry plain and grove,

• Adorn'd with mourriful verse thy Silvia's bier ; 'Twas then the nymphs their votive garlands wove, * And strew'd the fragrance of the youthful year.

. But why, alas ! the tender scene display?

Could Damon's foot the pious path decline ? Ah, no! 'twas Damon first attun'd his lay, . And sure no fonnet was fo dear as thine !

Thus was I bosom'd in the peaceful grave,

My placid ghost no longer wept it's doom; When favage robbers ev'ry fanction brave,

And with outrageous guilt defraud the tomb!

Shall my poor corse, from hostile realms convey'd,

Lose the cheap portion of my native fands ? Or, in

my kindred's dear embraces laid, • Mourn the vile ravage of barbarian hands?

[ocr errors]

" To see

Say, would thy breast no death-like torture feel,

my

limbs the felon's gripe obey ? To see them galh'd beneath the daring steel?

To crowds a spectre, and to dogs a prey ?

• If Pæan's fons these horrid rites require,

• If Health's fair science be by these refin'd; • Let guilty convicts for their use expire,

"And let their breathlefs corse avail mankind.

Yet hard it seems, when Guilt's last fine is paid,

« To see the victim's corse deny'd repose; • Now, more severe, the

poor

offenceless maid • Dreads the dire outrage of inhuman foes.

• Where is the faith of ancient Pagans fled:

• Where the fond care the wand'ring manes claim ? • Nature, instinctive, cries, '“ Protect the dead;

" And facred be their ashes and their fame!”

;

· Arise, dear youth ! e’en now the danger calls

E'en now the villain snuffs his wonted prey: • See ! see! I lead thee to yon facred walls

• Oh, fly to chase these human wolves away!'

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]
« 이전계속 »