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To Tweedale's taste, to Edgecumbe's sense
And (Envy spare this boast) to Britain's queen;
She saw the path to new, tho' humble fame,
Dread that endears, and softness that disarms.
That drinks the day's first glories as they rise;
Yet the soft blush, untutor'd to control,
Far as the long records of time we trace⚫ Still flow'd the veil o'er modesty's fair face: The guard of beauty, in whose friendly shade, Safe from each eye the featur'd soul is laid,The pensive thought that paler looks betray, The tender grief that steals in tears away, The hopeless wish that prompts the frequent sigh Bleeds in the blush, or melts upon the eye.
The man of faith thro' Gerar doom'd to stray, A nation waiting his eventful way, His fortune's fair companion at his side, The world his promise, Providence his guide; Once, more than virtue dar'd to value life, And call'd a sister whom he own'd a wife. Mistaken father of the faithful race, Thy fears alone could purchase thy disgrace. "Go" to the fair, when conscious of the tale, Said Gerar's prince, "thy husband is thy veil 3." O ancient faith! O virtue mourn'd in vain! When Hymen's altar never held a stain; When his pure torch shed undiminish'd rays, And fires unholy died beneath the blaze! For faith like this fair Greece was early known, And claim'd the veil's first honours as her own.
The Fables of Flora.
2 Plato mentions two provinces in Persia, one of which was called the Queen's Girdle, the other the Queen's Veil, the revenues of which, no doubt, were employed in purchasing those parts of her majesty's dress. It was about the middle of the third century, that the eastern women, on taking the vow of virginity, assumed that veil which had before been worn by the Pagan priestesses, and which is used by the religious among the Romanists now.
3 He is the veil of thine eyes to all that are with thee, and to all others."-Gen. xx. 16. Vet. Trans.
Ere half her sons, o'er Asia's trembling coast, Arm'd to revenge one woman's virtue lost; Ere he, whom Circe sought to charm in vain, Follow'd wild fortune o'er the various main, In youth's gay bloom he plied th' exulting oar, From Ithaca's white rocks to Sparta's shore: Free to Nerician gales the vessel glides, And wild Eurotas smoothes his warrior tides; Foram'rous Greece, when Love conducts the way, Beholds her waters, and her winds obey. No object hers but Love's impression knows, No wave that wanders, and no breeze that blows, Her groves, her mountains have his power confest,
And Zephyr sigh'd not but for Flora's breast. 'Twas when his sighs in sweetest whispers
Far o'er Laconia's plains from Eva's 1 shade!
All princely virtues, and all manly charms,
"No bloom so fair Messene's banks disclose,
"To vows that vainly waste their warmth in
Insidious hopes that lead but to despair,
"But not for him their hopes or fears alone! They seek the promis'd partner of his throne; For her their incense breathes, their altars blaze, For her to Heaven the suppliant eye they raise. Ah! shall they know their prince implor'd in vain?
Can my heart live beneath a nation's pain?"
There spoke the virtue that her soul admir'd, The Spartan soul, with patriot ardour fir'd. "Enough!" she cried" Be mine to boast a part
In him, who holds his country to his heart. Worth, honour, faith, that fair affection gives, And with that virtue, ev'ry virtue lives."
Pleas'd that the nobler principles could move His daughter's heart, and soften it to love, Icarius own'd the auspices divine,
Wove the fair crown 9, and bless'd the holy shrine.
But ah! the dreaded parting hour to brave!
Leave the lov'd honours of thy little reign.
"Canst thou not force the father from thy breast?
"Tho' mine by vows, by fair affection mine,
The daughter's veil 12 before her blushes bore,
The women of ancient Greece, at the mar. riage ceremony, wore garlands of flowers, probably as emblems of purity, fertility, and beauty. Thus Euripides,
αλλ' ὅμως γαμου μενην
Σοι κατασεψατ' έγωνιν ἦνεν, ὡς The modern Greek ladies wear these garlands in various forms, whenever they appear dressed; and frequently adorn themselves thus for their own amusement, and when they do not expect to be seen by any but their domestics.
Voyage Litteraire de la Grece.
10 The ancients esteemed this one of the greatest misfortunes that could befall them. The Trojans thought it the most lamentable circumstance attending the loss of their pilot Palinurus, that his body should lie in a foreign country.
- Ignotâ, Palinure, jacebis arenâ. "Pausanias, who has recorded the story on which this little poem is founded, tells us that this was the first temple erected to Modesty in Greece.
12 See the Veil of Modesty in the Musum Capitolinum, vol. iii.; and for further proofs of its high antiquity, see Hom. Odyss. lib. vi. Claud. Epithal. Honor. where he says,
Et crines festina ligat, peplumque fluentem
Oh! when beneath his golden shafts I bled,
And mourn'd their bloom unfaded as he view'd.
Ye holy suff'rers, that in silence wait
That rest at eve beneath the cypress' gloom,
SUNG BY A REDBREAST,
THE gentle pair that in these lonely shades,
Ah! where is now the hope of all my lay? Now they, perchance, that heard them all are dead!
With them the meed of melody is fled,
Vainly I dreamt my songs might not be vain.
Some scatter'd fragment haply I might find,
See Spectator, No. 164.
Yet not within the hospitable hall
To see me drooping on the lonely wall,
TO A REDBREAST.
LITTLE bird, with bosom red,
Daily near my table steal,
Pleasure in thy glancing eye;
Come, iny feather'd friend, again,
Eat thee, bones and all, my boy!
Bring gentlest Love, bring Fancy to my breast;
Now cease your sweet pipes, shepherds! cease your lays,
Ye warbling train, that fill the echoing groves
And listen to Menalcas.
Come, fairest of the beauteous train that sport
INSCRIPTIONS...MONODY...IMITATION OF WALLER.
The various wreathes in vain; explores the | Ah me! my friend! in happier hours I spread, shade
IN THE ISLAND OF SICILY.
SWEET land of Muses! o'er whose favour'd plains
Ceres and Flora held alternate sway;
When Freedom, by her rustic minstrels led, Danc'd on the green lawn many a summer's day,
While pastoral Ease reclin'd her careless head. In these soft shades: ere yet that shepherd fled, Whose music pierc'd Earth,air,and Heav'n and Hell,
And call'd the ruthless tyrant of the dead
Fix'd was the god: nor power had he to part, For the fair daughter of the sheaf-crown'd
Fair without pride, and lovely without art,
Gather'd her wild flowers on the daisied green. He saw, he sigh'd; and that unmelting breast, Which arms the hand of death, the power of
INSCRIBED TO MY WORTHY FRIEND
BEING WRITTEN IN HIS GARDEN AT AMWELL, IN
FRIEND of my genius! on whose natal hour, Shone the same star, but shone with brighter ray;
Oft as amidst thy Amwell's shades I stray, And mark thy true taste in each winding bower, From my full eye why falls the tender shower, While other thoughts than these fair scenes convey,
Like thee, the wild walk o'er the varied plain; The fairest tribe of Flora's painted train, Each bolder shrub that grac'd her genial bed, When old Sylvanus, by young wishes led,
Stole to her arms, of such fair offspring vain, That bore their mother's beauties on their head. Like thee, inspir'd by love-'twas Delia's charms! 'Twas Delia's taste the new creation gave: For her my groves in plaintive sighs would
And call her absent to their master's arms. She comes-Ye flowers, your fairest blooms urfold,
Ye waving groves, your plaintive sighs forbear, Breathe all your fragrance to the am'rous air, Ye smiling shrubs whose heads are cloth'd with gold!
She comes, by truth, by fair affection led, The long lov'd mistress of my faithful heart! The mistress of my soul, no more to part,
And all my hopes and all my vows are sped. Vain, vain delusions! dreams for ever fled! Ere twice the spring had wak'd the genial hour, The lovely parent bore one beauteous flower, And droop'd her gentle head,
And sunk, for ever sunk, into her silent bed. Friend of my genius! partner of my fate! To equal sense of painful suffering born! From whose fond breast a lovely parent torn, Bedew'd thy pale cheek with a tear so late
Oh! let us mindful of the short, short date, That bears the spoil of human hopes away, Indulge sweet mem'ry of each happier day! No, close, for ever close the iron gate Of cold oblivion on that dreary cell, Where the pale shades of past enjoyments dwell, And, pointing to their bleeding bosoms, say,
"On life's disastrous hour what varied woes await!"
Let scenes of softer, gentler kind,
Awake to fancy's soothing call,
The shadow'd thought of grief shall fall.
Draws her pale mantle from the dew-star's eye,
Leads from the pastur'd hills his flocks away,
That steals from Philomela's breast,
Where Lee beholds in mazes slow
His uncomplaining waters flow,
And all his whisp'ring shores invite the charms of rest.
IMITATION OF WALLER.
WALLER TO ST. EVREMOND.
VALES of Penshurst, now so long unseen! Forgot each shade secure, each winding green; These lonely paths, what art have I to tread, Where once young Love,the blind enthusiast,led? Yet if the genius of your conscious groves
Eear on my trembling mind, and melts its His Sidney in my Sacharissa loves;
Let him with pride her cruel power unfold;
THE DUCHESS OF MAZARINE.
ON HER RETIRING INTO A CONVENT.
Ye holy cares that haunt these lonely cells,
Lord of my life, my future cares are thine,
His favours bounded, and confin'd their space;
Once on my path all Fortune's glory fell,
Lord of my life! O, let thy sacred ray Shine o'er my heart, and break its clouds away, Deluding, flattering, faithless world, adieu ! Long hast thou taught me, God is only true; That God alone I trust, alone adore, No more deluded, and misled no more. Come, sacred hour, when wav'ring doubts
All other ties indignant I disclaim,
O fatal ties for which such tears I've shed.
But now those scenes of tempting hope I close,
Ye gay saloons, ye golden-vested halls,
Dress, figure, splendour, charms of play, farewell,
Soon shall the veil these glowing features hide,
Go, flattering train! and, slaves to me no
With the saine sighs some happier fair adore!
Yet were that ardour, which his breast in-
By charms of more than mortal beauty fir'd;
These long adieus with lovers doom'd to go,
THE AMIABLE KING.
THE free-born Muse her tribute rarely brings,
Explores the secret springs of taste and truth?
And plant, for these, her laurels round a king! Britannia's monarch! this shall be thy praise; For this be crown'd with never-fading bays!"
THE HAPPY VILLAGER. VIRTUE dwells in Arden's vale; There her hallow'd temples rise, There her incense greets the skies, Grateful as the morning gale; There, with humble Peace and her, Lives the happy villager;
There, the golden smiles of morn Brighter every field adorn;