Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

Then, as in death thy sinking eyes shall roll,
I'll catch the quivering spirit of thy soul,
Draw its quick flame, rekindled as we part;
Drink thy fond love, and store it in the heart!
Thus the last relic of affection take,
And here inclose it, for thy charming sake;
Far-far from me, to Pluto's spectred coast,
Belov'd Adonis ! flies thy gentle ghost!
Wretch that I am, to breathe immortal breath,
That cannot join thee in the realms of death!
Queen of the shades, whom fate hath given to share
Whatever blooms on earth, or good or fair;
Far happier thou, take all my soul adores!
He comes, bless'd queen, he hastens to thy shores!
Alas! while here my fruitless sorrows stream,
Love, golden love, is vanish'd as a dream:
Their wanton charms no more my Cupids own;
They droop, and perish'd is my virgin zone.
Why, form'd so fair, with every softer grace,
Why, sweet Adonis, urge the savage chase?'
Thus Venus griev'd: and—' Ah! thy joys are o'er-
Her Cupids sob’d—' Adonis is no more.'

Wide as her lover's torrent-blood appears,
So copious flow'd the fountain of her tears!
The rose starts blushing from the sanguine dyes,
And from her tears anemonies arise.

'Perish'd Adonis! my full sorrows sigh! Perish'd' the Loves-the weeping Loves reply! But cease to sigh unpitied to the groves The hapless story of thy vanish'd loves! His velvet couch survey-nor longer weepSee his fair limbs, and mark his beauteous sleep! Come, let the bridal vest those limbs infold, And pillow his reposing head in gold!

Though fix'd in death its pallid features frown,
That visage with the flowery chaplet crown!
Alas! no flowerets boast their glowing pride :
With him their fragrance, and their colour, died!
Shade him with myrtles-pour the rich perfumes-
No-perish every sweet!-no more Adonis blooms!
His pale corse cover'd with a purple vest,
Behold he lies! and lo! the Loves distress'd
Shear their bright locks, in agony of woe,
And spurn the useless dart, and break the bow!
Some quick unbind his buskin❜d leg, and bring
In golden urns pure water from the spring;
While others gently bathe the bleeding wound,
Or with light pinions fan him, fluttering round.
See Hymen quench his torch, in wild despair,
And scatter the connubial wreath in air!
For nuptial songs, the dirge funereal sighs,
While Hymen sorrows, and Adonis dies!
The Graces mourn their sweet Adonis slain;
And louder ev'n than thou, Dione, plain !
Hark, from the Nine elegiac accents fall,
(Each plaintive cadence murmuring, to recal
Their favourite bard) solicitous to save-
Ah! can he hear? or cross the' irremeable wave?
Yet, Venus, cease: thy tears awhile forego-
Reserve thy sorrows for the year of woe!

IDYLLIUM

THE SECOND.

CUPID AND THE FOWLER.

ONCE a youth, as he fowl'd in the midst of a grove,
On the branch of a box-tree saw fugitive Love:
In triumph he leap'd; and, in hopes of a prize,
(For he thought it a bird of a wonderful size)
Selected and join'd his best twigs for a snare;
Then mark'd Cupid hopping, now here, and now
Impatient, at length, at so vain a delay,
He flung all his twigs, in a passion, away;
And, eager his marvellous tale to impart,
Ran up to the man who had taught him his art:
And while the old rustic stood holding the plough,
Pointed out the strange bird that had perch'd on a

bough.

[there.

The countryman, shaking his head, with a smile,
Said archly: 'Ah, try not with twigs to beguile
Such dangerous game-O avoid it, my boy!
'Tis a fell bird of prey, and but form'd to destroy.
Thrice happy, if never you catch him!—then shun
A frolic, whose end will have nothing of fun!
For, believe me, erelong, when to manhood you rise,
Though now, simple youth, as you follow he flies;
His pinions around you he'll suddenly spread,
And familiarly flutter, and perch on your head.'

VOL. I.

L

IDYLLIUM

THE THIRD.

THE TEACHER TAUGHT.

WHILE yet asleep, ere dawning day,
Sooth'd by delightful dreams I lay,
Beside me Venus seem'd to stand,
Young Cupid in her lily hand-
(Meek on the ground bis eyes were cast)
When, whispering thus, away she pass'd:
To you my little son I bring:
Dear shepherd, teach the boy to sing.'
I, simple swain, and void of thought,
Full many an ancient ditty taught,
That, all in rustic numbers, tell
How Hermes form'd the vocal shell
How Pallas first compos'd the flute;
And how, the shepherd's lip to suit,
Pan join'd his reeds; and, fraught with fire,
How sweet Apollo strung the lyre.
But he, regardless of the strain,
Soon render'd every lesson vain ;
While, singing lighter lays of love,
'How Venus had the power to move
Both gods and men with subtle art,'
The urchin stole into my heart.
Then I, my rustic ditties o'er,
Remember'd what I taught, no more;
But (simple swain and void of thought,)
Learnt the light love-songs Cupid taught.

IDYLLIUM

THE FOURTH.

THE POWER OF LOVE.

THE Muses, hot afraid of Love,
Where'er he treads, delighted rove.
If some rude swain who never knew
The charms of Love their steps pursue,
Their lessons they refuse to teach,
And fly beyond the rustic's reach!
But if a melting shepherd sigh,
And all in love-sick ditties die ;
Their kindred chorus gathering round
Lend music to each soften'd sound!
My numbers, as I tune the shell,
Can witness, 'tis a truth I tell.
For, if I sing some son of earth,
Or being of immortal birth,

The weak notes falter on my tongue,
Nor flow such lays as erst I sung:

But if I warble Love again,

How sweetly glides my wonted strain!

« ForrigeFortsæt »