網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

Then I repented I had vow'd no more

Now, if you hope to live in Delia's arms, To love, or Delia's beauteous eyes adore.

To die in raptures, or diffolve in charms, Why am I now condemn'd to banishment,

Quick to the blissful, bappy manfion fly, And made an exile, by my own confent?

Where all is one continu'd extasy. I fighing cry'd, why should I live in pain

Delia impatiently expects you there : Those Aeeting hours which ne'er return again? And sure you will not disappoint the fair. O Delia! what can wretched Strephon do!

None but the impotent or old would stay, Inhuman to himself, and false to you !

When Love invites, and Beauty calls away. ”Tis true, I've promis'd Reason to remove

Oh! you convey, said I, dear charming bog, From these retreats, and quit bright Delia's love:

Into my soul a strange disorder'd joy. But is not Reafon partially unkind ?

I would, but dare not, your advice pursue; Are all her votaries, like me, confin'd?

I've promis'd Rcaron, and I must be true, Must none, that under her dominion live,

Reason 's the rightful empress of the foul; To Love and Beauty veneration give?

Does all exorbitant desires control; Why then did Nature youthful Delia grace

Checks every wild excursion of the mind, With a majestic mein, and charming face?

By her wise dictates happily confin'd:
Why did she give her that surprizing air;

And he that will not her commands obey,
Make her so gay, so witty, and so fair;
Mistress of all that can affection move,

Leaves a safe convoy in a dangerous les.
If Reason will not suffer us to love?

True, I love Delia to a vast excess, But, fince it must be so, I'll haste away;

But I must try to make my passion less;

Try if I can, if possible, I will,
'Tis fatal to return, and death to stay.
From you, bleft fhades! (If I may call

For I have vow'd, and must that vow fulfl.
fo
you

Oh! had I not, with what a vigorous flight
Inculpable) with mighty pain I go:

Could I pursue the quarries of delight! Compellid from hence, I leave my quiet here;

How could I press fair Delia in these arms, I may find safety, but I buy it dear.

Till I diffolv'd in love, and the in charms! Then turning round, I saw a beauteous boy,

But now no more must I her beauties view; Such as of old were messengers of joy ;

Yet tremble at the thought to leave ber too. Who art thou, or from whense? if sent, said I, What would I give, I might my fame allow! To me, my hafte requires a quick reply.

Bụt 'tis forbid by Reason, and a vow; I come, he cry'd, from yon celestial grove, Two mighty obstacles : though Love of old Where stands the temple of the God of Love; Has broke through greater, stronger powers controle With whose important favour you are grac’d,

Should I offend, by high example taught, And justly in his high protection plac'd:

'T would not be an inexpiable fault, Be grateful, Strephon, and obey that god,

The crimes of malice have found grace above, Whose sceptre ne'er is chang'd into a rod;

And sure kind Heaven will spare the crimes of Love. That god, to whom the haughty and the proud, Could'it thou, my angel, but inftruct me how The bold, the bravest, nay, the best, have bow'd : I might be happy, and not break my vow; That god, whom all the lesser gods adore ;

Or, by some fubtle art, diffolve the chain; First in existence, and the firft in power.

You 'i foon revive my dying hopes again. From him I come, on embassy divine,

Reason and Love, I know, could ne'er agree; To tell thee, Delia, Delia may be thine ;

Both would command, and both fuperior be. To whom all beauties rightful tribute pay;

Reason 's supported by the finewy force Delia, the young, the lovely, and the gay.

Of solid argument, and wise discourse; If you dare push your fortune, if you dare

But Love pretends to use no other arms But be resolved, and press the yielding fair,

Than soft impressions, and persuasive charms, Success and glory will your labours crown;

One must be disobey'd; and shall I prore For Fate does rarely on the valiant frown.

A rebel to my Reason, or to Love? But, were you sure to be unkindly us'd,

But then, suppose I should my flame pursus, Coldly receiv'd, ar,d scornfully refus’d;

Delia may be unkind, and faithless teo; He greater glory and more fame obtains,

Reject my passion with a proud disdain, Who loses Delia, than who Phyllis gains.

And scorn the love of such an humble (wais: But, to prevent all fears that may arise,

Then should I labour under mighty grief, (Though fears nc'er move the daring and the wife) Beyond all hopes or prospect of relief. In the dark volumes of eternal doom,

So that, methinks, 'tis safer to obey Where all things paft, and present, and to come, Right Reason, though the bears a rugged Tway, Are writ, I saw these words-" It is decreed, Than Love's soft rulc, whose subjects underg “ That Strephon's love to Delia shall succeed.” Early or late, too fad a share of woe. What would you more? While youth and vigour last, Can I fo foon forget that wretched crew, Love, and be happy; they decline too fast.

Reason just now expos'd before my view? In youth alone you 're capable to prove

If Delia should be cruel, I must bex
The mighty transports of a generous love;

A sad partaker of their misery.
For dull old-age, with fumbling labour, cloys But your encouragements fo strongly move,
Before the bliss, or gives but wither’d joys.

I'm almost tempted to pursue my love:
Youth's the best time for action mortals have; For sure no treacherous designs thould dwell
That past, they touch the confines of the grave. In one that argues and persuades so well;

For what could Love by my destruction gain? Of happy lovers, who consum'd their hours,
Love 's an immortal god, and I a swain;

With conftant jollity, in shady bowers.
And sure I may without suspicion trust

There I beheld the blest variety A god, for gods can never be unjust.

Of joy, from all corroding troubles free:

Each follow'd his own fancy to delight; Right you conclude, reply'd the smiling boy ; Though all went different ways, yet all went right. Love ruins none, 'tis men themselves destroy ; None err'd, or miss'd the happiness he fought; And those vile wretches which you lately saw, Love to one centre every twining brought. Transgress'd his rules, as well as Reason's law. We pass’d through numerous pleasant fields and glades, They're not Love's subjects, but the slaves of Luft; By murmuring fountains, and by peaceful thades; Nor is their punishment so great as juft.

Till we approach'd the confines of the wood, For Love and Luft effentially divide,

Where mighty Love's immortal temple ftood;
Like day and night, Humility and Pride;

Round the cæleftial fane, in goodly rows,
One darkness hides, t'other does always ihine; And beauteous order, amorous myrtle grows ;
This of infernal make, and that divine.

Beneath whose shade expecting lovers wait
Reason no generous paffion does oppose;

For the kind minute of indulgent fate; 'Tis Luft (not Love) and Reason that are foes. Each had his guardian Cupid, whose chief care, She bids you scorn a base inglorious flame,

By secret motions, was to warm the fair ;
Black as the gloomy Shade from whence it came : To kindle eager longings for the joy;
In this her precepts should obedience find;

To move the now, and to incline the coy.
Put yours is not of that ignoble kind.
You err in thinking the would disapprove

The glorious fabric charm’d my wondering fight; The brave pursuit of honorable love:

Of vart extent, and of prodigious height: And therefore judge what 's harmless an offence; The case was marble, but the polith'd stone. Invert her meaning, and mistake her sense.

With such an admirable lustre shone, She could not such infipid counsel give,

As if some architect divine had strove
As not to love at all; 'tis not to live;

T' outdo the palace of imperial Jove;
But, where bright virtue and true beauty lies, The ponderous gates of maliy gold were made,
And that in Delia, charming Delia's eyes.

With di’monds of a mighty fize inlaid ;
Could you contentcd see th' angelic maid

Here stood the winged guards, in order plac'd, In old Alexis' dull embraces laid ?

With shining darts and golden quivers grac'd: Or rough-hewn Tityrus possess those charms, As we approach'd, they clapp'd their joyful wings, Which are an heaven, the heaven of Delia's arms ? And cry'd aloud, Tune, tune your warbling Itrings; Consider, youth, what transport you forego, The grateful youth is come, to sacrifice The most intire felicity below;

At Delia's altar to bright Delia's eyes ; Which is by fate alone reserv'd for you :

With harmony divine his soul inspire,
Monarchs have been deny'd; for monarchs sue. That he may boldly touch the sacred fire ;
I own 'tis difficult to gain the prize;

And ye that wait upon the blushing fair,
Or 't would be cheap and low in noble eyes : Cæleftial incense and perfumes prepare;
But there is one soft minute, when the mind While our great god her panting bosom warms,
Is left unguarded, waiting to be kind;

Refines her beauties, and improves her charms.
Which the wise lover understanding right,
Steals in like day upon the wings of light.

Entering the spacious dome, my ravish'd eyes
You urge your vow, but can those vows prevail, A wondrous scene of glory did surprize:
Whose first foundation and whose reason fail? The riches, symmetry, and brightness, all
You vow'd to leave fair Delia; but you thought Did equally for admiration call!
Your passion was a crime, your Aame a fault. But the description is a labour fit
But fince your judgment errd, it has no force For none beneath a laureat angel's wit.
To bind at all, but is diffolv'd of course;
And therefore hesitate no longer here,

Amidst the temple was an altar made But banish all the dull remains of fear.

Of solid gold, where adoration 's paid;

Here I perform'd the usual rites with fear, Dare you be happy, youth; but dare, and be ;

Not daring boldly to approach too near; I'll be your convoy to the charming The.

Till from the god a smiling Cupid came, What! Atill irresolute? debating still?

And bid me touch the confecrated Aame: View her, and then forsake her if you will.

Which done, my guide my eager steps convey'd I'll go, said I; once more I 'll venture all; To the apartment of the beauteous maid.

Before the entrance was her altar rais'd,
Tis brave to perish by a noble fall.
Beauty no mortal can refift; and Jove

On pedestals of polith'd marble plac'd,
Laid by his grandeur, to indulge his love.

By it her guardian Cupid always stands, Reason, if I do err, my crime forgive :

Who troops of missionary Loves command:

To him, with soft addresses all repair : ngels alone without offending live.

Each for his captive humbly begs the fair: go astray but as the wise have done ; and act a folly which they did not shun.

Though fill in vain they importun'd; for he

Would give encouragement to none but me. Then we, descending to a spacious plain,

There stands the youth, he cry'd, must take a bliss, Vere foon saluted by a numerous train

The lovely Delia can be none but his ;

Tate

Fate has selected him; and mighty Love
Confirms below what that decrees above.
Then press no more; there is not another swain
On earth, but Strephon, can bright Delia gain.
Kneel, youth, and with a grateful mind renew
Your vows; swear you 'll eternally be true.
But if you dare be false, dare perjur'd prove, 2
You 'll find, in sure revenge, affronted Love
As hot, as fierce, as terrible, as Jove.
Hear me, ye gods, said I, now hear me swear,
By all that 's facred, and by all that's fair!
If I prove false to Delia, let me fall
'The common obloquy, condemn’d by all!
Let me the utmost of your vengeance try;
Forc'd to live wretched, and unpity'd die!

Then he expos’d the lovely Neeping maid,
Upon a couch of new-blown roses laid.
The blushing colour in her cheeks expressid
What tender thoughts inspir'd her heaving breast.
Sometimes a figh half-smother'd stole away;
Then the would Strephon, charming Strephon, say;
Sometimes the, smiling, cry'd, You love 'tis uue;
But will you always, and be faithful too?
Ten thousand graces play'd about her face;
Ten thousand charms attending every grace:
Each admirable feature did impart
A secret rapture to my throbbing heart.
The nymph * imprison'd in the brazen tower,
When Jove descended in a golden shower,
Less beautiful appear’d, and yet her eyes
Brought down that god from the neglected skics,
So moving, so tranipoiting was the light;
So much a goddess Delia seem'd, so bright;
My ravish'd soul, with secret wonder fraught,
Lay all diffolv'd in extasy of thought.

Long time I gaz’d; but, as I trembling drew
Nearer, to make a more obliging view,
It thunder'd loud, and the ungrateful noise
Wak'd me, and put an end to all my joys.

Why was I born, or why do I survive; To be made wretched only, kept alive? Fate is too cruel in the harsh decree, That I must live, yet live in misery. Are all its pleasing happy moments gone? Muft Strephon be unfortunate alone? On other swains it lavishly bestows; On them each nymph neglected favour throw:: They meet compliance ftill in every face, And lodge their paffions in a kind embrace; Obtaining from the soft incurious maid True love for counterfeit, and gold for lead. Success on Mævius always does attend; Inconstant fortune is his constant friend : He levels blindly, yet the mark does hit; And owes the victory to chance, not wit. But, let him conquer ere one blow he ftruck; I'd not be Mævius, to have Mævius' luck. Proud of my fate, I would not change my chains For all the trophies purring Mævius gains; But rather still live Delia's Nave, than be Like Mævius filly, and like Mævius free. But he is happy, loves the common road; And, pack-horse like, jogs on beneath his load. If Phyllis peevith or unkind does prove, It ne'er disturbs his grave mechanic love. A little joy his languid flame contents, And makes him easy under all events. But when a passion 's noble and sublime, And higher still would every moment climb; If 't is accepted with a just return, The fire 's immortal, will for ever burn; And with such raptures fills the lover's breast, That saints in paradise are scarce more blea.

But I lament my miseries in vain; For Delia hears me, pitiless, complain. Suppose the pities, and believes me true, What satisfaction can from thence accrue, Unless her pity makes her love me too! Perhaps the loves ('t is but perhaps, I fear, For that 's a blessing can 't be bought too dear) If she has scruples that oppose her will, I must, alas! be miserable still. Though, if the loves, those scruples foon will fly Before the reasoning of the Deity: For, when love enters, he will rule alone, And suffer no co-partner in his throne; And those false arguments that would repel His high injunctions, teach us to rebel.

What method can poor Strephon then propound, To cure the bleeding of his fatal wound, If she, who guided the vexatious dart, Resolves to cherith and increase the smart? Go, youth, from these unhappy plains remove, Leave the pursuit of unsuccessful love: Go, and to foreign (wains thy griefs relate, Tell them the cruelty of frowning fate; Tell them the noble charms of Delia's mind, Tell them how fair, but tell them how unkind. And when few years thou hast in forrow (pent (For sure they cannot be of large extent); In prayers for her thou lov'ft, rehgn thy breath, And bless the minute gives thee ease and death.

Here pausid the Swain, when Delia driving by Her bleating flock to some fresh pasture nigh,

A

THE FORTUNATE COMPLAINT.

S Strephon, in a wither'd cypress shade,

For anxious thought and fighing lovers made,
Revolving lay upon his wretched state,
And the hard usage of too partial Fate;
Thus the sad youth complain'd: Once happy swain,
Now the most abject ihepherd of the plain!
Where 's that harmonious concert of delights,
Those peaceful days, and pleasurable nights,
That generous mirth and noble jollity,
Which daily made the dancing minutes flee?
Dispersod and banish'd from my troubled breast;
Nor leave me one thort interval of rest.

Why do I prosecute a hopeless flame,
And play in torment such a losing game?
All things conspire to make my ruin sure:
When wounds are mortal, they admit no cure.
But Heaven sometimes does a miraculous thing,
When our last hope is just upon the wing;
And in a moment drives those clouds away,
Whose sullen darkness hid a glorious day.

3

Danaë.

My torments still do with my passion grow; The more I love, the more I undergo. But suffer me no longer to remain Beneath the pressure of so vast a pain. My wound requires fome speedy remedy: Delays are fatal, when despair is nigh. Much I've endur'd, much more than I can tell; Too much, indeed, for one that loves so well. When will the end of all my sorrows be? Can you not love? I'm sure you piły me. But, if I must new miseries sustain, And be condemn'd to more and stronger pain, I 'll not accuse you, fince my fate is such, I please too little, and I love too much.

Strephon, no more; the blushing Delia said, Excuse the conduct of a timorous maid: Now I'm convinc'd your love 's sublime and true, Such as I always with'd to find in you. Each kind expression, every tender thought, A mighty transport in my bosom ought : And though in secret I your flame approv'd, I fighd, and griev'd, but durft uot own I lov'd. Though now-- Strephon! be so kind to guess, What Thame will not allow me to confess.

The youth, encompass'd with a joy fo bright, Had hardly strength to bear the vast delight. By too sublime an extasy poffeft, He trembled, gaz'd, and clasp'd her to his breast; Ador’d the nymph that did his pain remove, Vow'd endless truth, and everlasting love.

By Love directed, did her steps convey
Where Strephon, wrapp'd in filent forrow, lay,
As soon as he perceiv'd the beauteous maid,
He rose to meet her, and thus, trembling, faid:

When humble suppliants would the gods appease,
And in severe afflictions beg for ease,
With constant importunity they fue,
And their petitions every day renew;
Grow ftill more carnest as they are deny'd,
Nor one well-weigh'd expedient leave untry'd,
Till Heaven those blessings they enjoy'd before,
Not only does return, but gives them more.

O, do not blame me, Delia! if I press So much, and with impatience, for redress. My ponderous griefs no ease my foul allow; For they are next t'intolerable now: How shall I then support them, when they grow To an excess, to a distracting woe? Since you 're endow'd with a celestial mind, Relieve like Heaven, and like the gods be kind. Did you perceive the torments I endure, Which you first caus'd, and you alone can cure, They would your virgin soul to pity move, And pity may at last be chang'd to love. Some swains, I own, impofe upon the fair, And lead th' incautious maid into a snare; But let them fuffer for their perjury, And do not punith others crimes with me. If there 's so many of our sex untrue, Yours should more kindly use the faithful few; 'Though innocence too oft incurs the fate Of guilt, and clears itself sometimes too late. Your nature is to tenderness inclin'd; And why to me, to me alone unkind? A common lovc, by other persons shewn, Meets with a full return; but mine has none : Nay, scarce beliey'd, though from deceit as free As angels flames can for archangels be. A partion feign'd, at no repulse is griev'd, And values little if it be n't receiv'd: Put, love sincere resents the smallest scorn, And the unkindness does in secret mourn.

Sometimes I please myself, and think you are Too good to make me wretched by despair ;

That tenderness, which in your soul is plac'd,
Will move you to compassion sure at last.
But, when I come to take a second view
Of my own merits, I despond of you:
For what can Delia, beauteous Delia, fee,
To raise in her the least esteem for me:
I've nought that can encourage my address;
My fortune 's little, and my worth is less :
But, if a love of the sublimeft' kind
Can make impression on a generous mind;
If all has real value that 's divine,
There cannot be a nobler flame than mine.

Perhaps you pity me; I know you must,
And my affection can no more distrust :
But what, alas! will helpless pity do?
You pity, but you may despise me too.
Still I am wretched if no more you give,
The starving orphan can't on pity live:
He must receive the food for which he cries,
Or he consumes; and, though much pity'd, dies,

VOL. II.

A

a

STREPHON'S LOVE FOR DELIA JUSTIFIED.

In an Epistle to Celadon. LL men have follies, which they blindly trace But happy those, who, by a prudent care, Retreat betimes from the fallacious snare.

The eldest fons of Wisdom were not free
From the same failure you condemn in me:
They lov'd, and, by that glorious paflion led,
Forgot what Plato and themselves had faid.
Love triumph'd o'er those dull, pedantic rules,
They had collected from the wrangling schools,
And made them to his noble sway submit,
In spite of all their learning, art, and wit :
Their grave, itarch'd morals, then unuseful prov'd ;
These dusty characters he foon remov'd;
For, when his shining squadrons came in view,
Their boasted rearon murmur'd, and withdrew;
Unable to oppose their mighty force
With phlegmatic resolves, and dry discourse.

If, as the wiseft of the wise have err’d,
I go astray, and am condemnd unheard ;
My faults you too severely reprehend,
More like a rigid censor than a friend,
Love is the monarch paffion of the mind,
Knows no superior, by no laws confin'd,
But triumphs still, impatient of control,
O'er all the proud endowments of the soul,

You own'd my Delia, friend, divinely fair,
When in the bud her native beauties were;
6[C]

Your

Your praise did then her early charms confess, 'Tis then the charms of eloquencesimpat
Yet you 'd persuade me to adore her less.

Their native glories unimprov'd by art:
You but the non-age of her beauty saw,

By what she says I measure things above, But might from thence sublime ideas draw,

And guess the language of seraphic love. And what the is, by what she was, conclude;

To the cool bofom of a peaceful shade, For now the governs those the then fubdued.

By some wild beech or lofty poplar made, Her aspect noble and mature is grown,

When evening comes, we fecretly repair And every charm in its full vigour known.

To breath in private, and unbend our care: There we may wondering view, distinctly writ,

And while our flocks in fruitful pastures feed, The lines of goodness, and the marks of wit : Some well-design'd, instructive poem read; Each feature, emulous of pleasing most,

Where useful morals, with soft numbers join'd, Does justly some peculiar sweetness boast;

At once delight and cultivate the mind : And her composure 's of fo fine a frame,

Which are by her to more perfection brought, Pride cannot hope to mend, nor Envy blame. By wise remarks upon the poet's thought ;

Só well she knows the stamp of eloquences When the immortal beauties of the skies

The empty sound of words from folid fenfe. Contended naked for the golden prize,

The florid fustian of a rhyming fpark, The apple had not fallin to Venus' share,

Whofe random arrow ne'er comes near thie mak, Had I been Paris, and my Delia there;

Can't on ber judgment be impos'd, and pass In whom alone we all their graces find,

For standard gold, when 't is bat gilded brals. The moving gaiety of Venus, join'd

Oft in the walks of an adjacent grove, With Junio's aspect, and Minerva's mind.

Where first we mutually engag'd to love, View both those nymphs whom other swains adorc, She smiling ask'd me, Whether I'd prefer You 'll value charming Delia still the more.

An humble cottage on the plains with her, Dorinda's mien 's majestic, but her mind

Before the pompous building of the great ; Is to revenge and peevithness inclind;

And find content in that inferior state? Myrtilla 's fair; and yet Myrtilla 's proud:

Said I, The question you propofe to me, Chloe has wit ; but noisy, vain, and loud:

Perhaps a matter of debate might be, Melania doats upon the filliest things;

Were the degrees of my affection less And yet Melania like an angel fings.

Than burning martyrs to the gods express. But in my Delia all endowments meet,

In you I've all I can desire below, All that is just, agreeable, or sweet;

That earth can give me, or the gods bestow; All that can praise and admiration move,

And, bleft with you, I know not where to find All that the wiseft and the bravest love.

A second choice, you take up all my mind.

I'd not forsake that dear, delightful plain, In all discourse the 's appolite and gay,

Where charming Delia, Love and Delia reign And ne'er wants something pertinent to say;

For all the splendor that a court can give, For, if the subject 's of a serious kind,

Where gaudy fools and busy statesmen live. Her thoughts are manly, and her sense refin'd;

Though youthful Paris, when his birth was kno But if divertive, her expression 's fit,

(Too fatally related to a throne) Good language, join'd with inoffensive wit;

Forsook Oenone, and bis rural sports, So cautious always, that the ne'er affords

For dangerous greatness, and tumultuous courts; An idle thought the charity of words.

Yet rate should ftill offer its power in vain; The vices common to her sex can find

For whai is power to such an humble swain? No room, ev’n in the suburbs of her mind;

I would not leave my Delia, leave my fair, Concluding wisely the 's in danger ftill.

Though half the globe should be affign'd my share. From the mere neighbourhood of industrious ill. And would you have me, friend, reffed again, Therefore at distance keeps the subtle foe,

Become the baseft and the worst of men? Whose near approach tvould formidable grow; O, do not urge me, Celadon; forbear; While the unwary virgin is uxdone,

I cannot leave her, she's too charming fair! And meets the misery which the ought to shun. Should I your counsel in this case pursee, Her wit is penetrating, clear, and g.!y;

You might fufpect me for a villain too: But let true judgment and right reason fway;

For sure that perjur'd wretch can never prove Modestly bold, and quick to apprchend;

Just to his friend, who's faithlefs to his lore. Prompt in replies, but cautious to offend. Her darts are keer, but level'd with fuch care, They ne'er fall short, and feldom fly too far:

EPISTLE TO DELIA.· For when she rallies, 'tis with so much art, We blush with pleasure, and with rapture smart.

S those who hope hereafter heaven to share

A rigorous exile here can calmly beas, O, Celadon! you would my flame approve, And, with collected spirits, undergo Did you but only hear her talk of love.

The sad variety of pain below; That tender pallion to her fancy brings

Yet, with intense reflections antedate The prettiest notions, and the loftest things; The mighty raptures of a future state; Which are by her so movingly exprest,

While the bright prospect of approaching joy They fill with extasy my throbbing breast.

Creates a bliss

no trouble can destroy ;

A

« 上一頁繼續 »