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Of godlike pow'r? for likeft gods they feem'd,
Stood they, or mov'd; in ftature, motion, arms,
Fit to decide the empire of great heaven.
Now wav'd their fiery fwords, and, in the air,
Made horrid circles. Two broad funs their fhields
Blaz'd oppofite, while expectation ftood
In horror. From each hand, with speed, retir'd,
Where erft was thickeft fight, th' angelic throng,
And left large field; unfafe within the wind
Of fuch commotion-such as, to set forth
Great things by fmall, if nature's concord broke,
And 'mongst the conftellations war were sprung,
Two planets, rushing from afpect malign
Of fierceft oppofition, in mid fky
Should combat, and their jarring spheres confound.
TOGETHER both, with next t' almighty arm,
Up-lifted imminent. Nor odds appear'd
In might or swift prevention: but the fword
Of Michael, from the armoury of God,
Was giv'n him, temper'd fo, that neither keen
Nor folid might refift its edge. It met
The fword of Satan, with fteep force to fmite
Descending, and in half cut fheer: nor stay'd;
But, with swift wheel reverfe, deep ent'ring, fhar'd
All his right fide. Then Satan first knew pain.
Forthwith, on all fides, to his aid was run
By angels many and ftrong, who interpos'd
Defence; while others bore him, on their fhields,
Back to his chariot, where it ftood retir'd
From off the files of war. There they him laid,
Gnathing for anguish and despite and shame,
To find himself not matchlefs, and his pride
Humbled by fuch rebuke, so far beneath
His confidence to equal God in
HE lovely young Lavinia once had friends;
And fortune fmil'd, deceitful, on her birth.
For, in her helpless years, depriv'd of all,
Of every stay, fave 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 folitude and deep furrounding fhades,
But more by bashful modesty conceal'd.
Together, thus, they fhunn'd the cruel fcorn,
Which virtue, funk to poverty, would meet
From giddy paffion and low-minded pride:
Almeft on Nature's common bounty fed:
Like the gay birds that fung them to repose,
Content, and careless of to-morrow's fare.
HER form was frefher than the morning rofe,
When the dew wets its leaves; unftain'd and pure,
As is the lily, or the mountain fnow.
The modeft virtues mingled in her eyes,
Still on the ground dejected, darting all
Their humid beams into the blooming flowers:
Or, when the mournful tale her mother told,
Of what her faithlefs fortune promis'd once,
Thrill'd in her thought, they, like the dewy ftar
Of evening, fhone in tears. A native grace
Sat fair-proportion'd on her polish'd limbs,
Veil'd in a fimple robe, their best attire,
Beyond the pomp of drefs: for lovelinefs
Needs not the foreign aid of ornament;
But is, when unadorn'd, adorn'd the most.
As in the hollow breaft of Appenine,
Beneath the shelter of encircling hills,
A myrtle rifes, far from human eye,
And breathes its balmy fragrance o'er the wild :
So flourish'd, blooming, and unfeen by all,
The fweet Lavinia; till, at length compell'd
By ftrong neceflity's fupreme command,
With fmiling patience in her looks, she went
To glean Palemon's fields.—The pride of swains
Palemon was; the generous, and the rich;
Who led the rural life, in all its joy
And elegance, fuch as Arcadian fong
Tranfinits 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 fcenes.
Aniufing, chanc'd befide his raper-train
To walk, when poor Lavinia drew his eye,
Unconscious of her power, and turning quick'
With unaffected blufhes from his gaze.
He faw her charming; but he faw not half
The charms her down-caft modefty conceal'd.
That very moment love and chafte defire
Sprung in his bofom, to himfelf unknown;
For ftill the world prevail'd, and its dread laugh,
(Which scarce the firm philofopher can scorn)
Should his heart own a gleaner in the field:
And thus, in fecret, to his foul he figh'd.
"WHAT pity that fo delicate a form; "By beauty kindled, where enlivening fenfe," "And more than vuigar goodness, seem to dwell; Should be devoted to the rude embrace
"Of fome indecent clown! She looks, methinks,. "Of old Acafto's line; and to my mind
"Recalls that patron of my happy life,
"From whom my liberal fortune took its rise;
"Now to the duft gone down; his houfes, lands,
"And once fair-fpreading family diffolv'd.
""Tis faid, that in fome lone obfcure retreat,
"Urg'd by remembrance fad, and decent pride,
"Far from those scenes which knew their better days,
"His aged widow and his daughter live,
"Whom yet my fruitless search could never find.
"Romantic wish! would this the daughter were !"
WHEN, ftrict enquiring, from herfelf he found
She was the fame, the daughter of his friend,
Of bountiful Acafto, who can speak
The mingled paffions, that furpriz'd his heart,
And, through his nerves, in fhivering transport ran ?
Then blaz'd his fmother'd flaine, 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 frighten'd at his fudden tears,
Her rifing beauties flush'd a higher bloom;"
And thus Palemon, paffionate, and juft,
Pour'd out the pious rapture of his foul.
"AND art thou, then, Acafto's dear remains ?
"She, whom my reftlefs gratitude has fought
"So long in vain ?-O yes! the very fame ;
"The foften'd image of my noble friend:
"Alive, his every feature, every look,
"More elegantly touch'd. Sweeter than spring!
"Thou fole furviving bloffom from the root
That nourish'd up fortune! fay, ah! where,
"In what fequefter'd defert, haft thou drawn
"The kindeft afpect of delighted heaven?
"Into fuch beauty fpread, and blown fo fair,
Though poverty's cold wind, and rushing rain,
"Beat keen and heavy on thy tender years.
"Oh! let me, now, into a richer foil,
"Transplant thee fafe, where vernal funs and fhowers, "Diffuse their warmeft, largest influence;
"And, of my garden, be the pride and joy!
"Ill it befits thee, oh! it ill befits
"Acafto's daughter; his, whofe open stores, "Though vaft, 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 fhameful pittance from thy hand, "But ill apply'd to fuch a rugged task:
"The fields, the mafter, all, my fair, are thine;
"If, to the various bleffings which thy house
"Has on me lavish'd, thou wilt add that blifs,
"That deareft blifs, the power of bleffing thee!"
HERE ceas'd the youth: yet, ftill his fpeaking eye
Express'd the facred triumph of his foul;
With confcious virtue, gratitude, and love,
Above the vulgar joy, divinely rais'd,
Won by the charm
Of goodness, irresistible, and all
In fweet diforder loft, fhe blush'd confent.
The news immediate to her mother brought,
While, pierc'd with anxious thought, fhe pin'd away
The lonely moments for Lavinia's fate.
Amaz'd, and scarce believing what she heard,
Joys feiz'd her wither'd veins, and one bright gleam
Of fetting life shone on her evening-hours;
Not lefs enraptur'd than the happy pair;
Who flourish'd long in tender blifs, and rear'd
A numerous offspring, lovely like themselves.
And good, the grace of all the country round.