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Indulge the frenzy that thou must endure,
And soothe the pain thou know'st not how to cure.
Come, flattering Memory! and tell my heart
How kind she was, and with what pleasing art
She strove its fondest wishes to obtain,
Confirm her power, and faster bind my chain.
If on the green we danc'd, a mirthful band;
To me alone she gave her willing hand:
Her partial taste, if e'er I touch'd the lyre,
Still in my song found something to admire.
By none but her my crook with flowers was crown'd,
By none but her my brows with ivy bound:
The world, that Damon was her choice, believ'd,
The world, alas! like Damon, was deceiv'd.
When last I saw her, and declar'd my fire
In words as soft as passion could inspire,
Coldly she heard, and full of scorn withdrew,
Without one pitying glance, one sweet adieu.
The frighted hind, who sees his ripen'd corn
Up from the roots by sudden tempests torn,
Whose fairest hopes destroy'd and blasted lie,
Feels not so keen a pang of grief as I.
Ah, how have I deserv'd, inhuman maid,
To have my faithful service thus repaid?
Were all the marks of kindness I receiv'd,
But dreams of joy, that charm'd me and deceiv'd?
Or did you only nurse my growing love,
That with more pain I might your hatred prove?
Sure guilty treachery no place could find
In such a gentle, such a generous mind :
A maid brought up the woods and wilds among
Could ne'er have learnt the art of courts so young:
let me rather think her anger feign'd,
Still let me hope my Delia may be gain'd;
'T was only modesty that seem'd disdain,
And her heart suffer'd when she gave me pain."
Pleas'd with this flattering thought, the love-sick
Felt the faint dawning of a doubtful joy;
Back to his flock more cheerful he return'd,
When now the setting Sun more fiercely burn'd,
Blue vapours rose along the mazy rills,
And light's last blushes ting'd the distant hills.
TO MR. DODDINGTON, AFTERWARDS LORD MELCOMBE REGIS.
HEAR, Doddington, the notes that shepherds sing,
Like those that warbling hail the genial Spring.
Nor Pan, nor Phoebus, tunes our artless reeds :
From Love alone their melody proceeds.
From Love, Theocritus, on Enna's plains,
Learnt the wild sweetness of his Doric strains.
Young Maro, touch'd by his inspiring dart,
Could charm each ear, and soften every heart:
Me too his power has reach'd, and bids with thine
My rustic pipe in pleasing concert join.
Damon no longer sought the silent shade,
No more in unfrequented paths he stray'd,
But call'd the swains to hear his jocund song,
And told his joy to all the rural throng.
"Blest be the hour," he said, " that happy hour,
When first I own'd my Delia's gentle power;
Then gloomy discontent and pining care
Forsook my breast, and left soft wishes there;
Soft wishes there they left, and gay desires,
Delightful languors, and transporting fires.
Where yonder limes combine to form a shade,
These eyes first gaz'd upon the charming maid;
There she appear'd, on that auspicious day,
When swains their sportive rites to Bacchus pay:
She led the dance Heavens! with what grace she
Who could have seen her then, and not have lov'd?
I strove not to resist so sweet a flame,
But gloried in a happy captive's name;
Nor would I now, could Love permit, be free,
But leave to brutes their savage liberty.
"And art thou then, fond youth, secure of joy?
Can no reverse thy flattering bliss destroy?
Has treacherous Love no torment yet in store?
Or hast thou never prov'd his fatal power?
Whence flow'd those tears that late bedew'd thy
Why sigh'd thy heart as if it strove to break?
Why were the desert rocks invok'd to hear
The plaintive accent of thy sad despair?
From Delia's rigour all those pains arose,
Delia, who now compassionates my woes,
Who bids me hope; and in that charming word
Has peace and transport to my soul restor❜d.
"Begin, my pipe, begin the gladsome lay; A kiss from Delia shall thy music pay;
A kiss obtain'd 'twixt struggling and consent,
Given with forc'd anger, and disguis'd content.
No laureat wreaths I ask, to bind my brows,
Such as the Muse on lofty bards bestows :
Let other swains to praise or fame aspire ;
I from her lips my recompense require.
"Why stays my Delia in her secret bower?
Light gales have chas'd the late impending shower;
Th' emerging Sun more bright his beams extends;
Oppos'd, its beauteous arch the rainbow bends!
Glad youths and maidens turn the new-made hay:
The birds renew their songs on every spray!
Come forth, my love, thy shepherd's joys to crown:
All nature smiles. Will only Delia frown?
"Hark how the bees with murmurs fill the plain,
While every flower of every sweet they drain :
See, how beneath yon hillock's shady steep,
The shelter'd herds on flowery couches sleep:
Nor bees, nor herds, are half so blest as I,
If with my fond desires my love comply;
From Delia's lips a sweeter honey flows,
And on her bosom dwells more soft repose.
"Ah! how, my dear, shall I deserve thy charms? What gift can bribe thee to my longing arms? A bird for thee in silken bands I hold, Whose yellow plumage shines like polish'd gold; From distant isles the lovely stranger came, And bears the fortunate Canaries' name; In all our woods none boasts so sweet a note, Not ev❜n the nightingale's melodious throat. Accept of this; and could I add beside What wealth the rich Peruvian mountains hide : EE
If all the gems in eastern rocks were mine,
On thee alone their glittering pride should shine.
But, if thy mind no gifts have power to move,
Phoebus himself shall leave th' Aonian grove :
The tuneful Nine, who never sue in vain,
Shall come sweet suppliants for their favourite
For him each blue-ey'd Naiad of the flood,
For him each green-hair'd sister of the wood,
Whom oft beneath fair Cynthia's gentle ray
His music calls to dance the night away.
And you, fair nymphs, companions of my love,
With whom she joys the cowslip meads to rove,
I beg you recommend my faithful flame,
And let her often hear her shepherd's name :
Shade all my faults from her inquiring sight,
And show my merits in the fairest light;
My pipe your kind assistance shall repay,
And every friend shall claim a different lay.
"But see! in yonder glade the heavenly fair
Enjoys the fragrance of the breezy air
Ah, thither let me fly with eager feet;
Adieu, my pipe; I go my love to meet
O, may I find her as we parted last,
And may each future hour be like the past!
So shall the whitest lamb these pastures feed,
Propitious Venus, on thy altars bleed."