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While these unhappy partners of your kind
Wide hover round you, like the fowls of heaven,
And ask their humble dole. The various turns
Of fortune ponder; that your sons may want
What now, with hard reluctance, faint ye give.

The lovely young Lavinia once had friends,
And fortune smild deceitful on her birth,
For, in her helpless years depriv'd of all,
Of ev'ry stay, save innocence and heaven,
She, with her widow'd mother, feeble, old,
And

poor, liv'd in a cottage far retir'd
Among the windings of a woody vale;
By solitude and deep surrounding shades,
But more by bashful modesty, conceald,
Together thus they shunc'd the cruel scorn
Which virtue, sunk to poverty, would meet
From giddy passion and low-minded pride:
Almost on nature's common bounty fed;
Like the

gay
birds that

sung

them to repose, Content, and careless of to-morrow's fare. Her form was fresher than the morning rose, When the dew wets its leaves; unstain'd and pure, As is the lily or the mountain snow. The modest virtues mingled in her eyes, Still on the ground dejected, darting all Their humid bcams into the blooming flowers:

Or when the mournful tale her mother told,
Of what her faithless fortune promis'd once,
Thrill'd in her thought, they, like the dewy star
Of ev'ning, shone in tears. A native grace
Sat fair proportion'd on her polish'd limbs,
Veild in a simple robe, their best attire,
Beyond the pomp of dress: for loveliness
Needs not the aid of foreign ornament,
But is, when unadorn'd, adorn'd the most.
Thoughtless of beauty, she was beauty's self,
Recluse amid the close embow'ring woods.
As in the hollow breast of Appennine,
Beneath the shelter of encircling hills,
A myrtle rises, far from human eye,
And breathes its balmy fragrance o'er the wild ;
30 flourish'a blooming, and unseen by all,
The sweet Lavinia; till at length compelld
By strong necessity's supreme command,
With smiling patience in her looks, she went
To glean Palemon's fields. The pride of swains
Palemon was, the gen'rous and the rich;
Who led the rural life in all its joy
And elegance, such as Arcadian song
Transmits from ancient uncorrupted times;
When tyrant custom had not shackled man,
But free to follow nature was the mode.
He then his fancy with autumnal scenes

Amusing, chanc'd beside his reaper train
To walk, when poor Lavinia drew his eye,
Unconscious of her pow'r, and turning quick
With unaffected blushes from his gaze;
He saw her charming, but he saw not half
The charms her downcast modesty, conceal’d.
That
very

moment love and chaste desire
Sprung in his bosom, to himself unknown;
For still the world prevail'd, and its dread laugh,
Which scarce the firm philosopher can scorn,
Should his heart own a gleaner in the field;
And thus in secret to his soul he sigh’d.

“ What pity! that so delicate a form,

By beauty kindled, where enliv’ning sense “ And more than vulgar goodness seem to dwell, os Should be devoted to the rude embrace “ Of some indecent clown! She looks, methinks, • Of old Acasto’s line; and to my mind • Recalls that patron of my happy life, “ From whom my lib'ral fortune took its rise; Now to the dust gone down; his houses, lands, " And once fair-spreading family dissoly'd. « 'Tis said, that in some lone obscure retreat, " Urg'd by remembrance sad, and decent pride, " Far from those scenes which knew their better

days,

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“ His aged widow and his daughter live,

Whom yet my fsuitless search could never find. “ Romantic wish! would this his daughter were!"

When, strict enquiring, from herself he found, She was the same, the daughter of his friend, Of bountiful Acasto; who can speak The mingled passions that surpriz'd his heart, And through his nerves in shiv'ring transports ran? Then blazd his smother'd flame, avow'd, and

bold;

And as he view'd her, ardent, o'er and o'er,
Love, gratitude, and pity, wept at once.
Confus'd, and frighted at his sudden tears,
Her rising beauties flush'd a higher bloom,
As thus Palemon, passionate and just,
Pour'd out the pious rapture of his soul.

“ And art thou then Acasto's dear remains? " She, whom my restless gratitude has sought “ So long in vain: O heavens! the very same, ". The soften'd image of my noble friend, " Alive his ev'ry look, his ev'ry feature, " More elegantly touch'd. Sweeter than Spring, “ Thou sole surviving blossom from the root " That nourish'd up my fortune! Say, ah! where, ". In what sequester'd desert hast thou drawn * The kindest aspect of delighted heaven?

“ Into such beauty spread, and blown so fair;

Though poverty's cold wind, and crushing rain, “ Beat keen and heavy on thy tender years? « O let me now, into a richer soil Transplant thee safe, where vernal suns and

" show'rs “ Diffuse their warmest, largest influence; “ And of my garden be the pride and joy! “ Ill it bests thee, O it ill befits " Acasto's daughter, his, whose open stores, “ Tho' vast, were little to his ampler heart, " The father of a country, thus to pick The very refuse of those harvest fields, " Which from his bounteous friendship I enjoy. Then throw that shamesul pittance from thy hand " But ill apply'd to such a rugged task; “ The fields, the master, all, my fair, are thine; “ If to the various blessings which thy house “ Has on me lavish'd, thou wilt add that bliss, “ That dearest bliss, the pow'r of blessing thee!"

Here ceas'd the youth: yet still his speaking eye Express’d the sacred triumph of his soul, With conscious virtue, gratitude, and love, Above the vulgar joy divinely rais’d. Nor waited he reply. Won by the charm Of goodness irresistible, and all In sweet disorder lost, she blush'd consent.

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