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LIFE TO BE ENJOYED.
If merit stamp my verses fair,
My name through time be theirs to bear :
But if unbless'd my Muse's lore,
Why vainly should I labour more?
Should Jove, or should the Parcæ give
Frail man a double life to live;
One part the lot of toil decree,
And yet assign the rest to glee;
Then, after many a labour past,
Gay joy would meet us at the last.
But if the Gods have given to man
Of life but one contracted span;
Why, wretches, do we thus impair
The pittance, in pursuit of care?
Why thus apply our souls to gain,
And heap up wealth, with hourly pain?
Alas! how thoughtless, we forget
That nature claims her final debt;
That wing'd by fate our moments fly-
That, mortals, we were born to die!
SAY, whilst each season speeds its circling race,
Whose sweet impression leaves the liveliest trace?
Say, Myrson, does the summer charm thee most,
When richly crown'd our finish'd toils we boast?
Or Autumn, waving wide its reddening grain,
Or winter, welcome to the lazy swain;
As, with the jovial partners of his lot,
He hails the cheerful blaze that gilds his cot?
Or, hath soft spring the' unrivall'd power to please?
Speak, Myrson, since we seem reclin'd at ease.
Myr. 'Tis not, my friend, for mortals to define
What's fairest of creation's works divine.
All-hallow'd are the season's changeful train,
And Nature varies not a scene in vain.
Yet, (in my eyes the loveliest and the best)
One season shines superior to the rest.
Not summer, sultry with her dying breeze;
Nor autumn, dropping fruits that breed disease;
Nor winter, hoar amid his drifted snows-
'Tis spring the balm of sweetest bliss bestows!
'Tis spring that, trebly to my wishes dear,
My heart could welcome through the purple year.
No cold or heat disturbs the vernal air,
While from each bud the gales ambrosia bear.
Then all the living blooms of plenty rise;
And equal days and nights divide the skies.
EPITHALAMIUM OF ACHILLES AND
THE dulcet notes, dear Lycid, wilt thou play,
Of some Sicilian lover's melting lay?
Such as the Cyclops sung, the rocks among,
To soothe his Galatea with a song?
Lyc. With pleasure,Myrson, thy request I grant— But say, what ditty would'st thou have me chaunt?
Myr. Pelides sing (and catch the Scyrian grace) Sing the stol'n kisses and the stol'n embrace! Tell how the youth, his sex belying, dress'd His manly body in a female vest!
And how Deidamia quaintly play'd
With her unknown Achilles-deem'd a maid!
Lyc. When Paris bore to Troy the ravish'd fair, And plung'd his lorn ŒEnone in despair, Indignant Sparta mark'd the treacherous foe; Greece felt the' alarm, and aim'd the hostile blow: Rous'd by the' insulting rape, her states afar In dire commotion breath'd revenge and war.
To Ilion's towers each hero bent his way-
But, lost in soft disguise, Achilles lay!
'Midst Lycomedes' lovely train he sigh'd:
The fleece, for arms, in sweet delirium ply'd;
And stole, amid his labours of the loom,
The virgin languish, and the virgin bloom!
Like theirs, his heaving bosom seem'd to glow,
And the flower brighten on his cheeks of snow!
His gait like theirs, he mov'd with swimming air,
And shaded with a veil his flowing hair!
Yet his heart own'd the military fire,
And felt the manly throbbings of desire!
By sweet Deidamia's side, all day—
From morn to night entranc'd in love, he lay!
Oft kiss'd her hand, with amorous dalliance warm,
And shed the' enamour'd tear, and clasp'd her form.
With her, sole comrade of his board, he mess'd;
And oft to share his bed the virgin press'd.
Thus would he say: 'While we asunder keep,
"Behold, in social pairs your sisters sleep!
Though thus in friendly converse we delight,
That wicked wall divides us every night!
SWEET Venus, daughter of the sea,
How comes such bitter pain from thee?
From thee to whom the power is given
To torture earth, to torture heaven?
Alas! what ills have mortals done
That thou should'st send them such a son-
Malicious, cruel, full of wiles,
Though luring with his dimply smiles?
Why didst thou give him wings and darts,
Imperious over human hearts-
To fly, where'er he will, so fierce;
And, as he lists, our bosoms pierce?