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You she preferr'd to all the gay resorts
And flower-embroider'd vales
From an admiring world she chose to fly :
And banish'd every passion from her breast,
Sweet babes, who, like the little playful fawns,
Who now your infant steps shall guide?
O loss beyond repair!
O wretched father! left alone,
To weep their dire misfortune, and thy own
How shall thy weaken'd mind, oppress'd with woe,
And drooping o'er thy Lucy's grave,
Perform the duties that you doubly owe!
From folly and from vice their helpless age to save?
Where were ye, Muses, when relentless Fate
To guard her bosom from the mortal blow? Could not your favouring power, Aonian maids,
Could not, alas! your power prolong her date, For whom so oft in these inspiring shades, Or under Camden's moss-clad mountains hoar, You open'd all your sacred store, Whate'er your ancient sages taught, Your ancient bards sublimely thought,
And bade her raptur'd breast with all your spirit
Nor then did Pindus or Castalia's plain,
Beset with osiers dank,
Nor where Clitumnus + rolls his gentle stream,
*The Mincio runs by Mantua, the birth-place of Virgil.
+ The Clitumnus is a river of Umbria, the residence of Propertius.
The Anio runs through Tibur or Tivoli, where Horace had a villa.
Nor yet where Meles or Ilissus + stra
Ill does it now beseem,
That, of your guardian care bereft,
To dire disease and death your darling should be left.
Now what avails it that in early bloom,
When light fantastic toys
Are all her sex's joys,
With you she search'd the wit of Greece and
To emulate her ancient praise
Bright sparkling could inspire,
By all the Graces temper'd and refin'd;
Most favour'd with your smile,
The powers of Reason and of Fancy join'd
Of all these treasures that enrich'd her mind, To black Oblivion's gloom for ever now consign'd.
At least, ye Nine, her spotless name
With golden characters her worth engrave.
* The Meles is a river of Ionia, from whence Homer, supposed to be born on its banks, is called Melisigenes.
†The Ilissus is a river at Athens.
Come then, ye virgin-sisters, come,
And strew with choicest flowers her hallow'd tomb: But foremost thou, in sable vestment clad,
With accents sweet and sad,
Thou, plaintive Muse, whom o'er his Laura's urn Unhappy Petrarch call'd to mourn;
O come, and to this fairer Laura pay
A more impassion'd tear, a more pathetic lay.
Tell how each beauty of her mind and face
Through her expressive eyes her soul distinctly spoke!
And uncorrupted Innocence !
Tell how to more than manly sense
She join'd the softening influence
Of more than female tenderness:
How, in the thoughtless days of wealth and joy,
Her kindly-melting heart,
To every want and every woe,
To guilt itself when in distress,
And all relief that bounty could bestow !
Ev'n for the kid or lamb that pour'd its life
Beneath the bloody knife,
Her gentle tears would fall,
Tears from sweet Virtue's source, benevolent to all.
Not only good and kind,
But strong and elevated was her mind:
All pleasing shone; nor ever past
In life's and glory's freshest bloom, [tomb. Death came remorseless on, and sunk her to the
So, where the silent streams of Liris glide,