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Ob, why should Art the native Graces hide,
Or charms, like thine, be sacrific'd to pride?
Trust me—thy beauties ask no heightening pains j
And naked Love the borrow'd charm disdains.
Behold the spring with native flowrets clad,
And earth spontaneous in her liv'ry clad—
How void of art the flaunting ivy waves,
And shrubs that mantle o'er the lonely caves!
Mark the bright rill, that winds an untaught way;
Behold the shores unpolish'd gems display;
List to the birds, the leafy bow'rs among,
How sweetly thrilling their unlabour'd song!
Oh, mark them well—for they most strongly teach,
That Art may Nature spoil, but cannot reach.
Not with attire, and vain affected art,
The beauteous Phabe * won her Lover's heart,
The son of Jove. Nor gentlest Elaire,
With tinsell'd raiment wak'd the tender fire.
Nor art nor affectation Idas + lov'd,
His haughty heart, when fair Murpcssa mov'd:
Yet, such was sov'ran Beauty's wond'rous sway,
He dar'd a contest with the God of Day.
Nor dress, nor gems allur'd the Phrygian's X soul,
That own'd Hippodamia's soft controul.
No borrow'd glare obscur'd the native grace,
A roseat hue adorn'd the blooming face.
* Phorbe and Elaira were sisters, daughters of Leucippps, King of Sicyan, beloved by Castor and Pollta.
t Marpessa, the daughter of Y.oenut, was beloved by Idas. Her beauty was such that 4potlo forcibly carried her off. Her lover, in a transport of rage, bent his bow, and aimed his arrows at the Pod.
t Phrygian Pelopt, the son of Tantalus.—See a particular qccouut in Pmdar'f Olympic Ode,
Unconscious charmers in th' heroic days
Deserv'd, not sought, the passion and the praise;
No study theirs to lure th' unguarded heart,
Virtue their pow'r, and Nature all their art.
Nor dies my Cynthia boast inferior charms,
Or wake, in feeling hearts, less fond alarms.
What aim in dress excites thy studious care?
What sway, what subjects satisfy the fair?
Thy charms unrivall'd o'er my bosom sway,
For life, for death, thy pleasure I obey.
One faithful heart is thine, without coutroul:
Shall not this empire satisfy thy soul?
Art thou not, with a care sufficient drest,
Supremely fair by one true heart confest?
And more than all to charm thy Lover's thought,
Th' accomplish'd mind is with attraction fraught.
On thee the Muse bestows the sounding chords,
And every grace informs thy tuneful words;
The God of Verse confers his art divine,
And Pallas' gifts with Citherea's join.
These charms shall ever wake thy Lover's flame,
Thro' youth and age unrivall'd, and the same.
These charms beyond the brightest gems adorn,
On wretched Luxury look down with scorn.
BOOK THE FIRST, ELEGY THE THIRD.
BY THE SAME.
As Ariadne lay, when to the gale The false Athenian • spread the flying sail;
Or, newly freed from monsters of the deep,
The bright Andromeda * was wrapt in sleep;As the fair Motiiad by Lyceus fir'd,
Rests from the jocund toil the God inspir'd;My Cynthia lay: with wav'ring steps I trod,
O'erpow'rd by influence of the jovial God.
The boys before me wav'd the flickering brand,
And night with day was nearly at a stand.
A double flame with confidence inspir'd,
For love and wine at once the bosom fir'd:Two potent Deities, that bade me prove
Some happy daring of advent'rous love.
I gaz'd on Cynthia, while she slept reclin'd,
And thought and thought—intoxicated mind!My arm beneath the sleeper's head to place,
And clasp her beauties in a dear embrace.
Then, shrinking backward, fear'd to rouse the fair,
For past experience taught me to beware.
The terrors of her wrath, too often felt,
Deep, deep recorded, in my bosom dwelt.
O'er charms unnumber'd while my glances stray,
Unmov'd I stand, and gaze my soul away.
Far less attentive wakeful Argus ey'd
The curving horns f that Beauty's form belied.
And now, I loos'd the garland from my brow,
And plac'd the flow'rs on Cynthia's front of snow;
And now I joy with sportive hands to deck
The careless ringlets floating o'er her neck;Now, the soft iv'ry of her hands I clasp,
While fragrant apples fill th' unconscious grasp.
Unpunish'ci, yet, with bolder thoughts possest,
J place the fruit beside her swelling breast,
* When she was rescued by Persevt.
t Argus.—bee the iaJjle of Jo in Ovid.
Elastic, round, and polish'd, as it's orb, (For am'rous wishes now my fears absorb) To thankless slumber were th' oblations pay'd;
J"Ior long my off'rings in her bosom stay'd, For as in sleep with gentle sighs it swell'd, It's heaving pants the fragrant guests repell'd. Oft as those sighs soft breathing found their way, My boding soul they fill'd with fond dismay;And many an omen from those pants I drew, Of dreams afflictive with portentous view, Lest fraud should aim our plighted love to part, Or fell Constra nt deprive me of her heart. But, now, the moon arose serenely bright, And thro' the casement glanc'd her silver light;It fill'd the room—methought she check'd her pace, As if enamour'd of my Cynthia's face;Full on her eyes the streamy lustre flows— The starting fair one on her elbow rose."Why come thus tardy? Say, what wond'rous cause,"To these neglected doors the wanderer draws?
•' What haughty Fair did Pride or Prudence move,"To spurn the homage of licentious love,
'' And send thee back, to feign a Lover's part,"With languid reliques of the jaded heart?"Ah, wretched I! but may'st thou yet forlorn,
>' Prove such sad nights, as I for thee have borne!"Oh, how I watch'd, and watch'd the hours away!
"How forg'd excuses for thy long delay!
"What various arts prolong'd the wakeful night,
"Ere,sleep encroaching stole upon my sight!"Now from the spindle flow'd the purple thread,
"And tuneful song the listless moments sped;
♦' I seem'd to feel thy perfidy and scorn,
"To droop neglected, and to range forlorn.
»' Till balmy sleep, sure friend of the distrest,
'' Pour'd his soft opiate on my wounded breast,"
THE THOUGHTS FROM PETRARCH.
Ah! what, my tongue, avails it, that my youth Still form'd thy accents to the tone of truth;That, nicely scann'd, no sounds from thee impart A thought illiberal, or deceitful art;Still are my cares, when most I need thy aid, Return'd with silence, or with shame repaid!When my fond spirit, school'd in sad despair, Would melt in vows, or breath the tender pray'r, Abrupt and harsh the sounds imperfect die, And the low murmur swells into a sigh; From charm to charm my aching eye-balls roll, And chilling damps press heavy on my soul, Half form'd, or lost, my words forget their theme,
Wild fev'rish ravings of my waking dream!Ye hills and vales, deep shades, or sunny plains, Whose echoes sigh'd responsive to my strains, Oft have ye heard my frantic soul invoke Some saving Fate to deal the pitying stroke.
When she is near, sweet Anguish thrills my frame,
And ill can Absence quench the potent flame.
What strength would nerve my arm it's aid to lend,
And end these torments, if with life they end,
Did not dim Doubt appal with endless woe,
And Fear withhold th' irrevocable blow!
Nor the gay morn, nor ev'ning's golden beam,
O'er my sad breast diffuse a joyful gleam;
When Cynthia sheds soft radiance o'er the plain,
Pensive I rove, and muse the madd'ning strain,