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ALMIGHTY Pow'r, amazing are thy ways!
SORROW OF AN INGENUOUS MIND,
MELANCHOLY EVENT OF A LICENTIOUS AMOUR.
WHY mourns my friend? why weeps his down
cast eye? That eye where mirth, where fancyus'd to shine;. Thy cheerful meads reprove that swelling sigh;
Spring ne'er enamel'a fairer meads than thine.
Art thou not lodg'd in fortune's warm embrace?
Wert thou not form’d by nature's partial care? Bless'd in thy song, and bless’d in ev'ry grace
That wins the friend, and that enchants the fair?
Damon, said he, thy partial praise restrain ;
Not Damon's friendship can my peace restore; Alas! his very praise awakes my pain,
And my poor wounded bosom bleeds the more.
For O! that nature on my birth had frown'd!
Or fortune fix'd me to some lowly cell! Then had my bosom 'scap'd this fatal wound,
Nor had I bid these vernal sweets farewel.
But led by fortune's hand, her darling child,
My youth her vain licentious bliss admir'd; In fortune's train the syren flatt'ry smild,
And rashly hallow'd all her queen inspir’d.
Ah, vices! gilded by the rich and gay!
Nor dropp'd the chase till Jessy was my prey. Poor artless maid! to stain thy spotless name,
Expence, and art, and toil, united strove; To lure a breast that felt the purest flame,
Sustain’d by virtue, but betray'd by love.
School'd in the science of love's mazy wiles,
I cloth'd each feature with affected scorn; I spoke of jealous doubts, and fickle smiles,
And feigning, left her anxious and forlorn.
Then, while the fancy'd rage alarm’d her care,
Warm to deny, and zealous to disprove: I bade
words their wonted softness wear, And seiz'd the minute of returning love.
To thee, my Damon, dare I paint the rest?
Will yet thy love a candid ear incline? Assur'd that virtue, by misfortune prest,
Feels not the sharpness of a pang like mine. Nine envious moons matur'd her growing shame!
Ere while to flaunt it in the face of day; When scornd of virtue, stigmatiz'd by fame,
Low at my feet desponding Jessy lay. " Henry,” she said, “ by thy dear form subdu'd,
See the sad relics of a nymph undone; I find, I find this rising sob renew'd:
I sigh in shades, and sicken at the sun. Amid the dreary gloom of night I cry,
When will the morn's once pleasing scenes reYet what can morn's returning ray supply,
But foes that triumph, or but friends that mourn? Alas! no more the joyous morn appears
That led the tranquil hours of spotless fame! For I have steep'd a father's couch in tears,
And ting'da mother's glowing cheek with shame. The vocal birds that raise their matin strain,
The sportive lambs increase my pensive moan; All-seem to chase me from the cheerful plain,
And talk of truth and innocence alone.
(turn) If through the garden's flow'ry tribes I stray,
Where bloom the jes’mins thatcould once allure,
For we are spotless, Jessy, we are pure.
Say, could you with my virgin-fame compare?
Was not so fragrant, and was not so fair. Now the grave old alarm the gentler young;
And all my fame's abhorr'd contagion flee; Trembles each lip, and faulters ev'ry tongue,
That bids the morn propitious smile on me. Thus for
sake I shun each human eye: I bid the sweets of blooming youth adieu; To die I languish, but I dread to die, Lest my sad fate should nourish
you. Raise me from earth; the pains of want remove,
And let me silent seek some friendly shore; There, only banish'd from the form I love,
My weeping virtues shall relapse no more. Be but
friend! I ask no dearer name; Be such the meed of some more artful fair : Nor could it heal my peace, or chase my shame,
That pity gave what love refus'd to share.